Cairo, June 15 (IANS) Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi met on Thursday Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Mike Pompeo and hailed the Egyptian-US ties as strategic and long-standing, the Egyptian Presidential spokesman said in a statement.
“Sisi lauded the strength of security and military relations binding Egypt and the US, saying they contributed to laying down the foundations of peace and stability in the region and addressing regional and international challenges,” Xinhua news agency quoted presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef as saying.
The CIA chief praised strategic relations with Egypt and stressed US keenness on enhancing relations with Egypt in all fields, especially in the security domain. Pompeo also commended Egypt’s leading role in fighting terrorism.
Talks between Sisi and the CIA director tackled several regional and international issues, including the crisis with Qatar, the counter-terrorism efforts and other regional developments.
“President Sisi underlined the importance of adopting a standard approach while confronting terrorist organisations, firmly facing terror-sponsoring countries and addressing radical ideas feeding terrorism,” said the spokesman.
Egypt-US ties suffered years of rift under former US President Barack Obama, whose administration suspended the annual $1.3-billion military aid to Egypt after the military overthrow of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 and the later heavy crackdown on his loyalists and now-blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood group.
Sisi started his first official visit to Washington earlier in April at the invitation of US President Donald Trump. The two exchanged remarks of praise and expressed willingness to engage in partnership in the global fight against terrorism.
Experts believe that the war on terror, the turmoil in the Middle East region and the Russian regional expansion are all behind the current progress in the Egyptian-American relations under Sisi and Trump.