Cairo, 9 March 2023 (TDI): The United States (US) Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J. Austin III recently embarked on a trip to Egypt to strengthen coordination with the country on key issues.

His visit includes meetings with high-ranking Egyptian officials, military leaders, and other key stakeholders.

The US Secretary of Defense’s trip to Egypt is part of an effort to build closer cooperation between the two countries on issues such as mutual security concerns, the fight against terrorism, and regional stability.

Furthermore, he also met the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Abdul Fatah al-Sisi, and Minister of Defense Zaki in Cairo.

They discussed ways to enhance US-Egyptian relations and the two sides also exchanged views on regional issues, including the situation in Libya, the war in Syria, and the Middle East peace process.

Likewise, collaboration in the areas of security, defense, and economic development was also brought to the fore.

US Secretary of Defense reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to strengthen its strategic partnership with Egypt and to increase military-to-military cooperation.

US-Egypt Defense Cooperation

The US has been a key partner of Egypt for decades, and defense cooperation has been fundamental to the partnership of both countries. Also, the US has provided Egypt with military training, equipment, and support for a variety of initiatives.

This includes joint exercises, such as Bright Star, which foster interoperability and help to ensure Egypt has the tools and capabilities to confront regional security threats.

The US is also actively participating in Egypt’s modernization efforts, including through the sale of F-16 fighter jets and other advanced combat systems.

In turn, Egypt provides the US with access to the Suez Canal and other strategic locations, as well as intelligence and logistical support. The two have also recently increased their cooperation on peacekeeping operations in the Middle East.

Both leaders acknowledged that the US-Egypt defense partnership is an important part of their commitment to a stable and secure Middle East.

The US Secretary of Defense committed to continuing to work together to support Egypt’s efforts to combat terrorism and other regional security threats, as well as to strengthen the shared resolve to promote human rights and the rule of law.

Incident in Libya and the role of US

For the record, the incident in Libya refers to the political and military crisis which began in 2011 following the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, the country’s long-time leader.

The crisis has since developed into a civil war between the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by General Khalifa Haftar.

The war has resulted in a massive humanitarian crisis and has caused thousands of deaths & injuries. To mention, the US has been actively involved in the conflict in Libya since 2011, when it supported NATO forces in a campaign to depose Gaddafi.

Since then, the US has provided diplomatic and financial support to the GNA and has been a major player in international efforts to find a political solution to the conflict.

Moreover, the US has provided the GNA with military support, including intelligence, reconnaissance, and logistics. The US has also helped to broker ceasefire agreements between the GNA and the LNA.

To conclude, today’s meeting was a testament to the United States’ commitment to deepening its long-standing bilateral partnership with Egypt.