Washington says looking to keep ties ‘vibrant and healthy’ with Egypt

Washington said that it seeks to maintain “vibrant and healthy” ties with Egypt, a day ahead of a brief visit by US Secretary of State John Kerry to Cairo.

Kerry is expected to meet with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi on Wednesday during a “short trip” to the Egyptian capital, the second in less than a month.

The two leaders will discuss “a range of bilateral US and Egypt issues, as well as regional issues,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said on Monday during a regular press briefing.

“The secretary…has talked about the importance of Egypt in the region. He’s talked about the importance of our relationship with Egypt and looking for ways to keep that relationship vibrant and healthy,” Kirby said in reference to the ongoing US-Egypt discussions.

He added that the “threat of terrorism that Egyptians are facing” as well as a variety of other political, economic and security challenges in the country are also set to be discussed.

In repose to a question about if the discussions would address the human rights record in Egypt, Kirby said: “there hasn’t been a meeting that we’ve had with Egyptian officials in many months where we did not raise our concerns over human rights.”

Earlier this week Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry held a “long meeting” with Kerry in New York, where the pair looked at a spate of regional issues including the crises in Syria and Libya as well as preparations for an upcoming Israeli-Palestinian peace conference in France.

 source: Ahram Online

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