As a part of its strategy to strengthen ties with the Egyptian government, a delegation from the United States Congress met on Sunday with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and Defence Minister Sedki Sobhi, to discuss cooperation on fighting terrorism and developmental issues.
Sisi held two separate meetings with Republican Senator Robert Corker and with Senator Dana Rohrabacher. He also met with Democrat Senator Tulsi Gabbard, along with US Ambassador to Cairo Robert Beecroft.
The president reviewed potential ways of improving bilateral cooperation to accommodate recent changes taking place in the Middle East region.
Presidential spokesperson Alaa Youssef said in an official statement that members of the congressional delegation highlighted the leading role of Egypt in the Middle East and expressed their understanding of the extreme challenges that Egypt is currently facing. It also recognised the parliamentary elections as a step forward in the nation’s democratic transition.
Youssry El-Ezbawy, political researcher at the Al-Ahram Centre for Political Studies, told Daily News Egypt: “The United States has been increasing its efforts recently to strengthen ties with Egypt, considering it a crucial potential ally in Libyan and Syrian events.
“It was thought that the Russian Plane crash would damage the relations between Russia and Egypt, but it did not. This urged the US to work more on bilateral cooperation with Egypt,” he added.
The US stopped military assistance to Egypt after Islamist former president Mohamed Morsi was removed from power by the Egyptian military. However, US support was resumed in May when Egypt received its first batch of eight Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 52 fighter aircraft.
In October, Egypt and the US resumed joint production of M1-A1 Abrams Tanks in the Egyptian tank factory outside Cairo.
Resuming joint production of the US tanks is the most recent step taken by the US government in partnership with Egypt, according to a US Embassy statement.