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US hosts Egypt’s FM Shoukry amid tensions over Sudan, human rights

By Julian Pecquet
Posted on Wednesday, 10 November 2021 09:19

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, right, gestures, to Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry during a U.S.-Egypt strategic dialogue at the State Department
Secretary of State Antony Blinken gestures, to Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry during a US-Egypt strategic dialogue on Monday 8 November 2021, in Washington, US, Alex Brandon/Pool via REUTERS

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken led a two-day strategic dialogue with Egypt, which also included officials from USAID and the Department of Defense. Top on the agenda was Egypt’s human rights record as well as regional security issues, including in Sudan, where Cairo reportedly supported last month’s military coup.

Despite those points of friction, Blinken warmly welcomed Shoukry, a former Egyptian ambassador to the US. During an introductory press conference on Monday, he described Shoukry as a friend of many years, and highlighted the “vital ties” between the two nations. The top US diplomat pledged to get the high-level dialogue, the first since 2015, back on a “more regular cadence”.

“Next year, the Egypt-US diplomatic relationship will mark its 100th anniversary,” Blinken said. ”And one reason the relationship is strong is because we’re not merely maintaining it, but consistently expanding the areas where we cooperate.”

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