The United States top diplomat made his first stop on his Middle East tour in Cairo. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reaffirmed Washington supports Egypt in its fight against terrorism. This is just one of many issues on the agenda, which will be discussed during stops in Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey.
CGTN’s Adel El-Mahrouky reports.
Tillerson’s visit aims to align the United States and Egypt on regional and global issues.
Presidents Donald Trump and Abdel Fattah EL Sisi have been trying to improve their relationship, but a year into the Trump presidency, not all issues have been resolved.
For Cairo, the Palestinian crisis is one of these.
“We’ve once again stressed the importance of reaching a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict — a two-state solution — and the importance of America continuing its efforts to solve the standoff,” Egypt’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Shoukry said. “We must end this conflict to stabilize the region.”
Tillerson’s arrival comes just days after the Egyptian army declared a nationwide operation against militant groups. Cairo said its counterterrorism campaigns have been affected by Washington’s partial freeze on military assistance.
With the presidential election just weeks away, critics see Operation Sinai 2018 as a government propaganda effort. Security analysts argue it aims to secure the election.
Tillerson, however, said the United States remains committed to fighting terrorism in Egypt. This should be evident, according to the Secretary, with the release of about one billion dollars in military funding.
“Our joint commitment to defeat ISIS is steadfast,” Tillerson said.
For its part, Washington has been pressing Cairo to take a firmer stance on the DPRK’s nuclear arms development program.
“Egypt has standard diplomatic ties with the DPRK, as do many Western NATO members,” according to Shoukry. “Those relations are limited to representation. There are no economic or other areas of cooperation. But we are concerned by the threat of the proliferation of nuclear weapons.”
Afshin Molavi on Tillersion’s Middle East trip and regional tensions
The United States top diplomat made his first stop on his Middle East tour in Cairo. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reaffirmed Washington supports Egypt in its fight against terrorism. This is just one of many issues on the agenda, which will be discussed during stops in Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. Afshin Molvai, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute at the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, discusses with CGTN’s Elaine Reyes.