Washington DC- An official at the US department of state said that Egypt is considered the most important country for the US outside of the members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), describing the relations between the two countries as a “strategic partnership.”
The official, who preferred to stay anonymous, said that the US realises the importance of Libya for Egypt, not just in terms of security, but also in terms of economy. “Egyptians understand so well what is happening in Libyan lands. There is an important dialogue between Egypt and the US to reach a working formula that encourages Libyan sides to work together,” the official said.
He explained that the meeting between Libyan marshal Khalifa Haftar and Fayez Al-Sarraj, Libya’s prime minister, is considered a step forward, stressing that America will work with Libya to find a solution for the crisis and face the challenges there.
Regarding the situation in Syria, the official said that the US is working with Egypt and other parties to solve the complex dilemma. “We support the unity of Syria,” he said.
The official stressed the keenness of president Trump on maintaining relations with influential countries in the Middle East, explaining that he still does not know the timings of his potential visits to these countries.
Regarding the economy, the official said that the US appreciates the efforts for economic reforms in Egypt and trusts that Egypt will be able to successfully overcome the challenges of the reform process and create a climate attractive for investment.
“I do not know what should be done regarding agreements of free trade between the two countries, but I am positive that the American business community sees Egypt as a promising opportunity,” said the official regarding the establishment of a free zone between the two countries.
Regarding the reduction of economic aid provided to Egypt, the official stated that it is too early to estimate the volume of the aid to be given. “This will be decided after the American administration discusses the budget and the congress approves it. The signals from both parties show the importance of Egypt, and that if any reduction took place, it will be a global move—not just in Egypt,” he added.