Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry held pivotal meetings with US Senate leaders on Wednesday during his Washington visit, underscoring Egypt’s commitment to bolstering bilateral ties with the United States and addressing the Gaza Strip situation alongside various regional and international issues.
Ahmed Abu Zeid, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reported that Minister Shoukry’s discussions included engagements with Democratic Senator Chris Coons, Chair of the Senate’s Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee; Republican Senator Ted Cruz, member of the Foreign Relations Committee; and Republican Senator Marco Rubio, Vice Chair of the Intelligence Committee and member of both the Foreign Relations and Appropriations Committees. The meetings also featured Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, minority leader of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, and Democratic Senator Ben Cardin, Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee.
Minister Shoukry conveyed Egypt’s dedication to the strategic partnership with the US, highlighting the multifaceted nature of this cross-partisan relationship.
The dialogues with US officials delved into various facets of bilateral cooperation, exploring avenues to enhance economic and military collaboration. Minister Shoukry voiced Egypt’s eagerness to host the Cairo Economic Future Forum next year, marking a significant milestone in trade relations. He commended the positive strides in economic ties following the Strategic Dialogue Round in late 2021 and the inauguration of the Joint Economic Commission in May 2023, which have contributed to increased trade value and bolstered cooperation in climate change, investment, and renewable energy sectors.
Minister Shoukry emphasized the urgency of establishing an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, safeguarding Palestinian civilians, and ensuring consistent humanitarian aid delivery. He reiterated Egypt’s rejection of forced displacement or resettlement of Palestinian refugees and displaced persons outside their native territories.
He also articulated Egypt’s alignment with the US administration’s stance against proposals that threaten to exacerbate regional instability and undermine the Palestinian cause, highlighting the potential to escalate conflicts and contravene international law and humanitarian standards, as well as Israel’s responsibilities as an occupying entity.
Senators from the Democratic Party acknowledged the strategic importance of US-Egyptian relations and the imperative to fortify them, recognizing the challenges posed by the Gaza Strip’s situation on regional stability. Conversely, Republican senators lauded Egypt’s stabilizing role in the Middle East and its contributions to peace efforts, including prisoner exchanges, and expressed gratitude for Egypt’s assistance in evacuating American citizens from Gaza.
Shoukry engaged with the Friends of Egypt group in the US Congress on Wednesday, highlighting the group’s crucial role in upholding the strategic alliance between Egypt and the United States. This collaboration is particularly vital amidst escalating regional and international challenges.
Minister Shoukry expressed gratitude for the group’s support, which has been instrumental in fostering bilateral relations. He anticipates continued joint efforts to bolster international peace, support Egypt’s economic growth, and navigate the country’s ongoing economic and social transformation, all while addressing any factors that could strain the Egypt-US relationship.
The assembly addressed pressing regional concerns, with the conflict in the Gaza Strip taking precedence. The need for an immediate ceasefire to protect Palestinian civilians was underscored, alongside the urgency of reinitiating the peace process on solid, new grounds to facilitate the creation of a Palestinian state within a defined timeframe. Discussions also covered the situations in Sudan and Libya, as well as the developments surrounding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) issue.