Intense activities by Foreign Minister on the third day of his visit to Washington
Sameh Shoukry meets with Senator "John McCain," chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Representative "Ed Royce," Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Representative "Eliot Engel," Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Sameh Shoukry, the Foreign Minister, resumed his activities on the third day of his visit to Washington, by holding more meetings on the hill. He met on Friday, December 2 with Senator John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The meeting focused on discussing the various aspects of the Egypt-US bilateral relations, and on the US aid program to Egypt, both military and economic. Minister Shoukry briefed the US Senator on the significant efforts undertaken by the Egyptian army in the fight against terrorism in the Sinai and the challenges faced in this context, in addition to the efforts to support stability and peace in the Middle East.
Abu Zeid noted that Shoukry outlined Egypt's vision towards the situation in Libya, the developments of the Syrian crisis and the priority of dealing with the humanitarian conditions, and the fight against terrorism in Iraq and Sinai as well as the developments of the Yemeni crisis. The foreign minister emphasized the priority of strengthening the role of the central state in order to face the challenge of terrorism, and counter the growing role of outlawed armed militias and sectarian strife, which has become a serious threat to the social structure and community peace in many Middle Eastern countries.
On a similar front, Shoukry met with Representative "Ed Royce," Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The meeting witnessed a lengthy discussion about the strategic Egypt-US relations, where Foreign Minister responded to the congressman inquiries about the economic situation in Egypt, the recent law governing the work of NGOs and its impact on the work of American civil society organizations in Egypt, especially since the US law requires spending the aid program and implementing its programs through these organizations. The Foreign Minister also outlined the various components of the economic and social reform programs recently adopted by the Egyptian government and endorsed by the international Monetary Fund, which displays Egypt's strive towards implementing comprehensive reforms that address the economic and structural inequalities that painted the Egyptian economy for decades. Similarly, Shoukry highlighted the political will of the Egyptian government to successfully complete the process of democratic transformation, through a gradual approach that upholds the stability of the society and meets the political, economic and social aspirations of its citizens. Furthermore, the Foreign minister spoke about the recently released young prisoners, previously convicted on different charges, on presidential pardon, and the outcomes of the national youth conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, stressing the political leadership's faith in the important and pivotal role of the Egyptian youth in achieving the aspired economic and social welfare in Egypt.
The spokesperson for the foreign ministry stated that Shoukry met as well with the ranking member of House Foreign Affairs committee "Eliot Engel," who expressed his gratitude for his last visit to Egypt, his meeting with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and the lengthy discussion about the counter-terrorism efforts in Egypt and the region. Shoukry also tackled the inquiries by the congressman with regard to some economic and political concerns and the law governing the work of NGOs.
Abu Zeid concluded his remarks, pointing out that all the meetings held by Shoukry with the leaders of the US Congress reflected the increasing recognition of Egypt's centrality to US interests in the region and the necessity to support Egypt's endeavors for reform, as it is considered as a role model that would enhance the chances of stability in the Middle East. The talks also reconfirmed the special relations that the United States and Egypt share, and the hopes for improved relations with the new US administration.