Hegazy’s UK visit focuses on counter-terrorism measures

Nourhan Fahmy
3 Min Read
Chief of Staff of the Egyptian armed forces Mahmoud Hegazy stressed the importance of meeting the deadline set during the 26th Arab League summit (Photo by Ahmed El-Malky)

In a four-day visit that began Wednesday, Chief of Defence Staff for the UK Armed Forces General Sir Nicholas Houghton hosted his Egyptian counterpart, Lieutenant General Mahmoud Hegazy, to discuss bilateral relations.

General Hegazy also met with UK Secretary of Defence Michael Fallon, who recently represented the UK at the opening of the New Suez Canal.  Fallon expressed the UK’s commitment to supporting a more secure and democratic Egypt.

The Ministry of Defence release a statement Sunday detailing aspects of the visit, and portraying its “positive results” with regards to increased military cooperation, as well as cooperation in the fields of defence, transport and exchanging military expertise.

The visit encompassed open discussions on aspects of cooperation between both states to tackle the challenges faced by both countries.

General Houghton particularly focused on how the UK can support Egypt in effective counter-terrorism measures, and how both states can cooperate to ensure a secure future for Libya, according to a British Embassy press release.

During his visit, General Hegazy had the opportunity to visit the Longmoor military training camp, where 15 Egyptian officers are currently receiving close protection training from British army experts.

General Hegazy also visited the Counter-terrorism Unit of the British army, in which members of the Egyptian armed forces are partaking in joint trainings with the British army, according to the Ministry of Defence statement.

British Ambassador to Egypt John Casson said: “Our countries face the same threat from ISIL terrorism and the extremism that feeds it, and the UK will not leave Egypt to stand alone against it, in Sinai, Libya or elsewhere.”

Casson added that the Egyptian-UK partnership is not limited to security measures, but should also include cooperative measures designed to confront “long-term political, economic and ideological challenges that lie behind the crisis in the region”.

A senior military delegation headed by General Hegazy left Cairo on Tuesday, heading to London for the visit.

Hegazy’s visit is the latest in a series of mutual visits between both states, amid developments in bilateral relations, and a British interest to coordinate with Egypt on regional issues.

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