US Says Relationship With Egypt ‘Strong’ Despite Sisi’s Russia Visit

“Egypt is free to have relationships with whoever it wants,” US State Department deputy spokesperson, Marie Harf said on Tuesday, in a comment on President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s visit to Russia.

Egypt’s El-Sisi met with Vladimir Putin early Tuesday in Russia’s Sochi, where they discussed plans of enhancing bilateral relationships and a plan for renewing and developing projects previously established by the Soviet Union.

In a State Department press briefing, Harf called US relations with Egypt ‘strong and strategic’.

Harf added that the two countries’ relationship is based on ‘unique capabilities’ in both security as well as aspects of economic reform.

The Egyptian-American relationship has been patchy since the ouster of Egypt’s president Mohamed Morsi in July of last year.

Although the US temporarily suspended its military aid to Egypt in October of last year, it unfroze nearly $1.5 billion in aid following President Sisi’s election in June.

Other parts of US aid are yet to be released.

Egypt resumed its relationship with Russia after it had soured following Anwar Sadat’s peace treaty with Israel in 1979, bringing in some $1.3 billion in annual US military aid.

Currently, Egypt is in talks with Russia to close on a LE21 billion ($3 billion) weapons agreement.

Source : Ahram online