CAIRO: U.S. delegation from the House of Representatives visiting Cairo told President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi they are supporting Egypt, particular in the military field, inside the Congress to combat “terrorism” in Sinai and along its western borders with Libya, Egyptian Presidency spokesperson Alaa Youssef stated Saturday.
The 13-member delegation chaired by lawmaker Rodney Frelinghuysen, chairperson of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, tackled the international and regional issues in the Middle East, especially counterterrorism, Youssef added.
Sisi also affirmed Egypt’s appreciation of strategic relations with the U.S., Youssef continued.
The president highlighted the necessity of economic support to create an investment environment to provide people and youth with job opportunities as a means to counter terrorism, adding that the military and security support, which is represented in stopping the arms supplies to “militant groups,” is not enough.
Both sides also tackled the Palestinian-Israeli issue; Sisi said “the settlement of this case will significantly participate in getting rid of any pretext to promote extremist thoughts which justify terrorist acts.”
The delegation includes chairperson of the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Agencies Kay Granger, Congresswomen Marcy Kaptur, Representative John R. Carter, and others. The visiting delegation held meetings also with the Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and the Ministry of Defense Sedki Sobhi, according to statements from both ministries.
Kay Granger recently sent U.S. President Barack Obama a letter calling on him to send Egypt and Jordan fighter jets to combat “Islamic State (IS) militants.” She said that she was prepared to send foreign aid money if the military aid did not reach those countries, Reuters reported Feb. 20.
Following the ouster of the former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 by the army and the dispersal of pro-Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins of Rabaa and Nahda squares, U.S. suspended part of its military and economic aid package to Egypt.
However, part of the halted military aid, F-16 fighter jets, was released in November 2014.