Relations between the United States and Egypt are “currently troubled”, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy said Monday.
The relationship is “very important for both parties” and the proposed “strategic dialogue is a mechanism to return relations to a normal track”, he said.
US Secretary of State John Kerry announced last November, during a visit to Egypt, that US President Barack Obama had accepted an invitation to launch strategic dialogue with Egypt. Kerry’s fleeting six-hour visit came in the wake of the US decision to suspend the delivery of military aid to Egypt, pending “credible progress toward an inclusive, democratically elected civilian government through free and fair elections.”
“We have not started the dialogue at this stage and contacts are continuing, especially with the Secretary of State,” Fahmy said, but there is “still time ahead of us”.
During a visit to the region last week, Kerry participated in the opening sessions of strategic dialogues in Algeria and Morocco to strengthen the US relationship with north African nations.
The top US diplomat hinted February that he would visit Egypt soon to meet with then defence minister Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to discuss the situation in Egypt. Since then, Al-Sisi has resigned from the military and launched a campaign to become Egypt’s next president.
Both Egypt and the US have said that, despite the recent strains on the relationship, both sides are committed to continuing their strategic partnership.