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Egypt, US Agree on Importance of Partnership to Regional Security

Egypt, US Agree on Importance of Partnership to Regional Security

Wednesday, 21 September, 2022 - 07:15
Secretary of State Antony Blinken (C-R) meets with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (C-L) in New York, New York, US, 19 September 2022. (EPA)

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry’s meeting with his US counterpart, Antony Blinken, reached consensus on the importance of the “strategic partnership” between Cairo and Washington as “a fundamental pillar of security and stability in the Middle East.”

The diplomats’ meeting is the first of its kind since the Biden administration decided to withhold foreign military aid to Egypt.

Tuesday’s meeting took place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York and less than a week after the Biden administration decided to withhold $130 million of a $300 million portion of foreign military aid to Egypt.

The withholding of aid was linked to human rights criticism of Egypt, which it denied.

A statement by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry stated that the meeting between Shoukry and Blinken “discussed various aspects of bilateral relations and regional and international developments of mutual interest.”

“Talks emphasized the importance of the strategic partnership between Egypt and the US as a fundamental pillar of security and stability in the Middle East,” said Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid.

Abu Zeid also highlighted the importance of exploring all possible ways to advance the strategic relationship between Cairo and Washington to broader horizons.

Egypt has received a large amount of US military aid since it became the first Arab country to conclude a peace treaty with Israel in 1979. The total value of direct US military aid to Egypt, which does not include arms sales, stood at about $1.17 billion in the 2021 fiscal year.

Shoukry and Blinken particularly focused on the situation in Libya, Syria, Yemen and the Palestinian territories, Abu Zeid said, adding that they also discussed developments regarding Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam.

The top diplomats also talked about preparations for the upcoming international climate summit, COP27, which will be held in Egypt in November, Abu Zeid said.

The repercussions of the Ukrainian crisis on food security also figured high in the meeting, he added.

The State Department spokesperson said the meeting discussed the US-Egyptian partnership and cooperation on a range of issues, the mounting global consequences of Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine, and US support for Egypt as it responds to these challenges.

“The Secretary thanked the Foreign Minister for Egypt’s efforts to foster greater stability in the region, including supporting equal measures of security and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians,” read a State Department statement.

“They also discussed support for elections as soon as possible in Libya and the UN truce in Yemen, including through the resumption of flights between Cairo and Sanaa.”

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