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Sisi, Mattis Review Military Cooperation, Counter-Terrorism

Sisi, Mattis Review Military Cooperation, Counter-Terrorism

Sunday, 3 December, 2017 - 11:45
Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi welcomes US Defense Secretary James Mattis at the Ittihadiya presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt in April. (Reuters)

Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi and US Defense Secretary James Mattis discussed in Cairo on Saturday strengthening military cooperation between the two countries, especially in counter-terrorism efforts.

Presidential spokesperson Bassam Radi said that Sisi stressed the importance of the strategic Egyptian-US relations.

The president also pointed out the importance of enhancing cooperation between the two countries, particularly on the military level, in order to achieve common interests, especially in combating terrorism and restoring security and stability in the Middle East, added Radi.

According to a Department of Defense statement, Mattis' visit was part of a five-day trip "to re-affirm the enduring US commitment to partnership in the Middle East, West Africa and South Asia."

Mattis stressed Washington's keenness to "strengthen relations of cooperation with Egypt in various fields, especially in light of what Egypt represents as the cornerstone of stability in the Middle East."

Mattis expressed US support for Cairo in its war against terrorism, which threatens the region and the world at large. He expressed his "sincere condolences to the victims of the recent terrorist attack that targeted the al-Rawda mosque in northern Sinai."

Radi also said that Sisi and Mattis reviewed "regional and international challenges, particularly combating terrorism and extremism."

Sisi stressed the need to intensify international efforts on curbing terrorism financing and the importance of realizing political solutions to crises in the Middle East.

In the same context, Egyptian Defense Minister Sedki Sobhi met with his US counterpart at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Egyptian Ministry of Defense.

In a statement, Egyptian military spokesman Colonel Tamer Rifai said that the two officials held a wide-ranging meeting on "latest regional and international developments and coordination of efforts to face common challenges”.

Topics related to the fields of military cooperation, joint drills and exchange of expertise in many areas were tackled.

Sobhi expressed his pride in the strategic partnership and collaboration found between the US and Egyptian armed forces, pointing out the importance of supporting and enhancing military cooperation.

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