CAIRO: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi emphasized his commitment to upholding the rule of law and democracy during a Sunday meeting with a delegation of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The delegation, headed by Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Readiness Rob Wittman, expressed its hope that Egypt continues with democratic and economic development, according an Egyptian presidential statement.
“Members of the delegation reasserted their commitment to further strengthening the already strong relations that exist between Egypt and the US. They acknowledged Egypt’s role as a cornerstone for security and stability in the Middle East, in light of the challenges and the crises it faces,” the presidency stated.
For his part, Sisi said that international “anti-terrorism” efforts should be concerted on military, economic and intellectual levels, noting Al-Azhar’s role in refuting extremist ideology.
Earlier, the delegation met with Defense Minister Sedqy Sobhy, according to a Sunday statement by military spokesperson Mohamed Samir.
Another delegation of the U.S. House of Representatives met with Chief of Staff Mahmoud Hegazy in Cairo to discuss countering “terrorism” in September.
U.S. military officials and presidents of defense companies have met with Egyptian officials several times in the past few months amid growing cooperation after the U.S. resumed military aid to Egypt in March.
Sisi met with Lockheed Martin Corporation President Marillyn A. Hewson Nov. 12, the U.S.-based company is one of the world’s largest defense companies; it produces F-16 Fighting Falcon jets. Head of Donald Schenk, head of General Dynamics defense company was also in Egypt in October to discuss local tank production.
Sobhy met with Minister of U.S. Air Force Deborah Lee James in Cairo Nov. 14 and with U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and his accompanying delegation Nov. 9. He also met with U.S. Central Command Lloyd Austin in September.
Meanwhile, Hegazy met with Raymond A. Thomas, U.S. commander of Joint Special Operations Command Nov. 5, while on Nov. 3, he met with U.S. commander of Naval Forces Central Command Kevin M. Donegan.