U.S. Ambassador to Egypt: Bright Star Military Maneuvers to Return Before Year’s End

The United States ambassador to Egypt R. Stephen Beecroft said that his country’s support of Egypt in its fight against terrorism is “firm, ongoing and eager.

During the annual meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt (Amcham) said, Ambassador Beecroft said that the Egypt”can serve as a successful model for other countries in the region.”

Beecroft said that the US is partnering with Egypt both militarily – pointing to a recent military exercise between the two countries – and culturally, saying that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Fulbright Scholar Program in Egypt.

Moreover, U.S. ambassador said that Egypt’s success is important given that it is the geographical the heart of the region, is home to one quarter of the Arab world’s population and has historically been in a position of leadership.

Beecroft stated that “For a thousand years, Egyptian people persevered in the face of challenges and continue to do so.”

He also commended Egypt’s Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s vision to solve the current crises in the region, which revolves around the view that fighting militarily buys time but does not address the underlying problems.

The meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt commemorated 35 years in the country and paid homage to the Chamber’s outgoing president Anis Aclimandos, as well as the outgoing board members who concluded their four-year term.

Ambassador Beecroft told the outgoing Amcham president and board members that “We appreciate your services, hard work and dedication to the bilateral relationships.”

In April, AmCham announced that food industry veteran Tarek Tawfik won its presidency.

He added that the US supports Egypt in solving these problems, next to securing support for the economic reform programme and boosting investments.

In the same context, Beecroft said that the Bright Star military maneuvers between the United States and Egypt will start again before the end of the year, after being suspended in 2009.

It is worth to mention that the first US-Egyptian joint military training took place in 1980. It then expanded to become a semi-annual training, the most famous of which were the Bright Star maneuvers in 1999, which included 7,000 soldiers from 11 countries.

He also explained that the military aid to Egypt will not be cut and that economic aid is still at a high level compared to other countries. He pointed out that Egyptian-American relations are witnessing great progress during the current phase.

Moreover, he revealed that a US delegation will visit Cairo next month to start negotiations related to the crises in Libya, Syria, and Yemen.

Donald Trump administration moved to reset U.S. relations with Egypt, hosting al-Sisi for talks at the White House last April and giving him firm backing, including in the fight against Islamist militants.

U.S. and Egypt relations have soared under the former administration of Barack Obama, which admonished Cairo for its rights abuses following the military overthrow of Egypt’s first democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi.

In 2013, the U.S. suspended military aid to Egypt before resuming it two years later, but Obama never extended an invitation to the Egypt’s military dictator after he assumed office in 2014 amid continued human rights violations.

Moreover, during Obama administration,”The State Department’s human rights report accuses Sisi’s government of stifling basic freedoms and enforcing its repression through torture, the disappearances of critics, and arbitrary arrests and killings.”

On the contrary, Trump’s flattering words to Egypt’s al-Sisi during his first official visit to the United Sates of America are considered a sharp shift from Obama Administration.

Trump said,”You have a great friend and ally in the United States and in me.”

He also said as he sat beside al-Sisi in the Oval Office,”We agree on so many things.”

“He added, “I just want to let everybody know in case there was any doubt that we are very much behind al-Sisi. He’s done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation. We are very much behind Egypt and the people of Egypt. The United States has, believe me, backing, and we have strong backing.”

Trump has set aside all of those concerns on human rights violations in Egypt , and it seems that his new administration is on its way to support give Egypt militarily and economically in the way that Cairo has been longing for.