The U.S. White House issued a statement Friday describing Egypt as the “lynchpin of stability in the Middle East” and affirming support for its efforts to achieve peace and security in the region.
The statement was issued as a follow-up to Thursday’s meeting between Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and U.S. President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the 72nd UN General Assembly in New York.
Trump was quoted in the statement as stressing the importance of cooperation between the US and Egypt on security issues.
“President Donald J. Trump met yesterday with President Abdel-Fattah Al Sisi of Egypt in New York. The two presidents highlighted the close relationship between their two countries. President Trump and President Al Sisi underscored the importance of bilateral security cooperation and praised recent efforts to strengthen regional security,” the statement said.
“President Trump commended President Sisi’s economic reform programme and discussed other issues, including the Gulf dispute and North Korea,” the White House added.
After Thursday’s meeting, Egyptian presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef said Trump had praised Egypt’s efforts in attempting to revive the Israel-Palestine peace process and discussed Cairo’s efforts to help secure reconciliation between Palestinian factions.
“The U.S. President stressed the importance of continued coordination and consultations between both countries on the issue,” said Youssef in a statement.
The meeting between al-Sisi and Trump is the first following an August decision by the US administration to withhold $195 million in aid and cut $95 million to Egypt, citing concerns over Cairo’s record on democracy and human rights.
The two leaders discussed resuming aid during the Wednesday meeting, according to Reuters.
Trump told reporters before the meeting that the U.S. “will consider” resuming some of the suspended military assistance to Egypt.
Source: Ahram Online