Egypt’s FM Sameh Shoukry Met with US Congress Delegation in Cairo

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with a delegation from the US congress, headed by senator Dana Rohrabacher.

The meeting took place inside the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as reported by Daily News Egypt.

Both parties discussed during the meeting the bilateral relations with the United States of America and ways to enhance cooperation between both countries.

In fact, this is the second recent visit of a US congress delegation to Egypt.

Last June, a delegation from the US Congress visited Cairo to meet with Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

The delegation was also headed by Dana Rohrabacher who is the chairperson of the Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats subcommittee of the US House of Representatives. The delegation also met with other senior government and private sector officials.

According to the US embassy at that time, the delegation aimed to discuss the long-standing partnership between the US and Egypt, efforts to fight terrorism, and the two nations’ shared interests in regional stability and security, the US embassy stated.

It is worth to mention that several US congress members have visited Egypt in 2016 and also met with Al-Sisi and other senior officials.

In the same context, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry arrived to the United States of America in an official visit last November which was the first of its kind by an Egyptian official following the election of Donald Trump.

During his visit, Shoukry met with the transitional US administration at that time and the US Congress with its both houses.

Shoukry also held discussions with leaders from the US congress.

Sameh Shoukry’s visit to the US at that particular time where a new administration was taking office in the White House was inferred that both countries would revive their partnership publicly after the cold relation that featured Obama’s administration towards Egypt.

After the military coup in 2013 against Egypt’s first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi, the Egyptian-American relations strained.

Obama administration initially maintained a degree of distance from al-Sisi’s government in the beginning of the military coup.

In this context, U.S. froze arms deliveries to Egypt, but eventually released aid in March 2015, delivering F-16 fighter jets and tank turrets.

Obama administration started to recognize the coup in steady moves under the banner of “fighting terrorism”.Recently, Egypt received in May an initial shipment of 762 mine-resistant, ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles from the United States, which will be used in army operations in North Sinai.

On the contrary, there are many signs that Trump administration will get much closer to al-Sisi regime unlike Obama administration.

First of all, Al-Sisi was one of a few world leaders Trump requested to meet when he was a candidate on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September.

Moreover, Trump also expressed to al-Sisi “his strong support for Egypt’s war on terrorism, and how under a Trump administration, the United States of America will be a loyal friend, not simply an ally, that Egypt can count on in the days and years ahead, according to Politico.

Trump also said that if elected president, he will work with Sisi to fight terrorism, describing him in a speech as someone who recognizes that “this ideology of death must be extinguished.”

After the meeting, Trump’s team released an account of his meeting with Sisi that was striking in how much praise the Republican heaped on Egypt.

On the other side, when al-Sisi was asked directly about his opinion on the US elections – during an interview with the CNN after meeting with Trump – and the possibility that Trump would make a strong leader, al-Sisi replied by saying “no doubt”.

Moreover, al-Sisi was among the first World Leader to congratulate Trump to congratulate him on his victory.

In the same context, in verbal phone call between al-Sisi and Trump last month,Trump applauded Egypt’s efforts on fighting terrorism and appreciated al-Sisi’s efforts on “war on terror” adding that the U.S. would continue to support Cairo in its fight.

Moreover,Donald Trump has also assured al-Sisi that he will continue providing military assistance to his country, according to Associated Press(AP).

As a result, many observers believe that Donald Trump administration will take steps in favor of the al-Sisi regime as” the both leaders have many views in common.”

It is known that Trump opposes the attempts of change in the region known as “The Arab Spring”, tends to support stability, and is against any radical changes in the region.

In addition, Trump views war on terrorism as a top priority for US foreign policy.

During his inauguration on the National Mall in Washington DC as the 45th President of America, Trump declared an immediate policy to unite civilized world “to defeat and destroy ‘terrorism’, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth”.

According to a statement posted on the White House website moments after his inauguration, Trump administration said it would make defeating “radical Islamic terror groups” its top foreign policy goal.

In the statement titled, “America First Foreign Policy”, the Trump administration said, “Defeating ISIS and other radical Islamic terror groups will be our highest priority.”

The new American administration said that in order to “defeat and destroy” ISIS and similar groups, we “will pursue aggressive joint and coalition military operations when necessary”, work to cut off funding for armed groups, expand intelligence sharing, and use “cyber-warfare” to disrupt propaganda and recruitment efforts.