US military aid to Egypt should increase: FM Shoukry to congressman

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met on Tuesday with the US House Committee on Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry in Washington to discuss regional and bilateral issues.

The FM told Thornberry that the US should increase its military aid to Egypt to support the country’s efforts in fighting terrorism and maintaining stability in the Middle East.

 

Shoukry argued that the US military aid program to Egypt requires review since it was implemented more than three decades ago.

 

US military aid to Egypt, worth $1.3 billion annually, was halted in 2013 following Islamist president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster, as the US voiced concerns over Egypt’s human rights record. The aid was reinstated in 2015.

The talks also tackled the latest economic and political developments in Egypt, according to statement by the foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu-Zeid.

Thornberry said the newly elected administration is ready to cooperate with partners in Egypt on tightening relations between the two countries.

The Congressman conveyed a message to the Egyptian people stating that the United States would always remain supportive to Egypt, as Egypt’s stability and success are vital to the US interests in the Middle East region, the statement read.

Shoukry began a visit to the United States last week, where he met with Secretary of State John Kerry, Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan, as well as leaders from the Republican and Democratic parties.

He also met with vice president-elect Mike Pence last Wednesday, making him the first Arab official to meet with the future second in command.

Shoukry relayed to Pence greetings from Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.and hopes for US-Egyptian collaboration under the new US administration.

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