(MENAFN - Arab Times) Egypt and the US have stressed importance of cooperation to face the conflicts in the region, mainly in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen.
The two sides also stressed the need of reaching the two-state solution between Palestine and Israel according to international laws, according to a joint statement made by US Secretary of State John Kerry and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry during the US-Egypt Strategic Dialogue held in Cairo and was released by Egypt's Ministry of Foreign Affairs late Sunday, following the talks.
They also discussed recent developments in the Middle East and means of implementing articles of the agreement between Iran and western powers to bring peace and stability to the region. The statement added that Washington had welcomed Egypt as a member of the international coalition to fight ISIL, while the ministers also agreed on holding strategic talks every two years.
The meeting also included topics such as fighting extremism, terrorism, the Egyptian road map, human rights, information technology agreements, developing cooperation on all levels and expanding commerce and investments, the statement said. Kerry concluded his visit to Egypt, late on Sunday. He met President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and his counterpart Shoukry. The US official headed to Doha to meet with senior officials of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to discuss security in the region in light of Iran's nuclear agreement.
Despite persistent human rights concerns, the United States on Sunday resumed formal security talks with Egypt that were last held six years ago and kept on hiatus until now amid political unrest that swept the country in the wake of the Arab Spring. Two days after the US delivered eight F-16 warplanes to Egypt as part of a military support package that the Obama administration is boosting to help Egypt counter an increasing terrorist threat, Secretary of State John Kerry restarted the so-called "strategic dialogue" with Egyptian officials in Cairo. The dialogue was last held in 2009 and did not occur in subsequent years due to the Arab Spring and turmoil following the ouster of Egypt's authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
Kerry said the administration is committed to working with Egypt to enhance its military capabilities as it confronts growing threats from extremists, particularly in the Sinai Peninsula. That aid had been on hold until earlier this year due to human rights and democracy concerns in the wake of the military overthrow of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in 2013. At the same time, he acknowledged stress in the USEgypt relationship over human rights and said Washington would continue to press Cairo on the arrests of dissidents and journalists and mass trials.
Meanwhile, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has signed into law election-related legislation, the official gazette said on Sunday, opening the way to setting a date for long-delayed parliamentary polls. The election law allocates 448 seats to individual candidates and 120 seats to winner-takes-all lists with quotas for women, youth and Christians. The previous law allocated 420 seats to individuals and 120 through lists.