Sisi: Egypt is ‘keen’ to boost coordination with new US administration

Egypt is keen to boost coordination with new US administration, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi told a delegation from the Middle East Institute on Thursday.

According to an official statement by the president’s office, al-Sisi said that Egypt is hoping to boost strategic relations with the US in the upcoming period, to restore momentum in the bilateral relationship, and to develop the relationship in several fields.

The president said that current regional and international challenges call for a strengthening in dialogue between the two countries in way that leads to positive reflections on the national security of the two countries.

Sisi also presented during the meeting domestic developments, pointing at the security challenges facing Egypt due to terrorism and Egypt’s role in changing popular discourse in religion used by terrorist organisations through Egypt’s Al-Azhar.

The president also stressed Egypt’s keenness for continued efforts to revive the peace process between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, adding that reaching a permanent and fair solution to the Palestinian cause would provide a “new reality” that accomplishes the interests of all countries in the region.

The MEI delegation, lead by the institution’s president Wendy J. Chamberlin, underlined the necessity of boosting bilateral relations and turning the relationship into a real partnership between the two countries, according to the president’s statement.

They also affirmed Egypt’s pivotal role in the Middle East as a main pillar of security and stability in the region. The DC-based thinktank’s delegation also said that they are planning to visit Egypt every year to stay informed of Egypt’s vision in the region especially in the light of the latest developments and crises.

They praised the steps undergone by Egypt in fighting terrorism, as well as moves by the Egyptian government to improve the economy, the statement read.

In November the Egyptian government floated the pound, in face of declining foreign reserves caused by a drop in tourism and foreign investment. Other fiscal reforms have also been introduced, including an increase in energy prices.

The pound has since dropped to approximately 19 to the dollar, down from a previous set rate of 8.8 to the dollar, while inflation has increased.

The delegation added that Thursday’s visit was given an importance as a visit by al-Sisi to Washington DC is being planned.

In January US President Donald Trump invited his Egyptian counterpart to visit the US; he has also told al-Sisi that his administration is committed to maintaining the US’s annual military aid to Egypt.

Egypt annually receives $1.3 billion in military aid from the United States.

Source: Ahram Online