Al-Sisi Meets US Congressional Delegation in Egypt

Egyptian Defence Minister General Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi met on Sunday with United States Representative Dana Rohrabacher, head of the subcommittee of European and Asian Affairs in the Foreign Affairs Committee, who led an official congressional delegation to Egypt.

The delegation congratulated the armed forces and the Egyptian people on the success of the referendum and the founding of a new democratic phase in Egypt, according to a statement by a military spokesman.

The statement added that the meeting covered the developing situation and its implication on the security and stability of the region. The meeting also discussed means of military cooperation between the two countries.

The delegation promised to relay the “actual picture” of the current situation in Egypt to their colleagues back in Washington, along with declaration of their support of the Egyptian government in its efforts to regain its role in retaining security and rebuilding the country’s institutions.

The meeting included Loretta Sanchez, member of the Armed Services Committee; Paul Cook and Steve Stockman, members of the Foreign Affairs Committee; and Cynthia Lummis, member of the subcommittee on national security.

Since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi, relations between the United States and the post-3 July regime in Egypt have been tense especially after the temporary suspension of the US aid, a move which led to the reestablishment of Egyptian-Russian ties through different top-level conversations.

Since December, the tension has gradually eased following Chuck Hagel’s statement supporting the Egyptian road map, and now has all but disappeared with the arrival of the congressional delegation along with a recent legislative bill allowing for the return of military aid to the Egyptian government.

The legislation allowed for US President Barack Obama to waive restrictions put in place in October 2013, restrictions that suspended the delivery of military equipment to Egypt pending the election of a civilian government. This, however, did not affect support which “directly benefits” Egyptians in areas such as health, education and private sector development.

The previous December delegation to Egypt from the House of Representatives comprised of Republicans Steve King, Louis Gohmert and Michele Bachmann. The group met with interim President Adly Mansour and General Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi.