Sisi and Kerry discuss counter-terrorism, road map
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi (R) and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry discussed methods to combat terrorism in a Sunday meeting, the presidency spokesperson Ihab al-Badawy stated Sunday evening.

Sisi told Kerry that Egypt is committed to completing the road map, and that procedures of parliamentary elections would begin before July 18, Badawy said.

Kerry, who arrived in Egypt for a one-day visit Sunday, is the first top U.S. official to visit Egypt since Sisi’s inauguration June 8.

The meeting tackled latest developments in the Middle East namely in Iraq, Syria and Libya and the role of the terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Badawy said.

Badawy added that Kerry expressed his country’s aspiration to work with Egypt to besiege the terrorism which extended to the Middle East region, while Sisi welcomed combating terrorism through collective efforts.

Kerry told a press conference he had emphasized in his “candid” talks with Sisi that the new government must uphold “the universal rights and freedoms of all Egyptians,” AFP reported.

U.S. aid worth $572 million was released to Egypt after having been frozen by the Obama administration in October following the army’s removal of president Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, and a security crackdown on protests. The American government announced the unfreezing of funds would be conditioned upon steps toward democracy.

U.S. officials accompanying Kerry told journalists that congress gave the “green light” for the release of the aid, AFP reported.

Kerry also said that 10 Apache helicopter gunships would be delivered to Egypt “very, very soon,” as aid for counter-terrorism efforts in the Sinai Peninsula, minutes before he left Cairo and flew to Amman for further consultations on Iraq, AFP added.

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