Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met on Monday with his American counterpart Anthony Blinken ahead of a US-Egypt Strategic Dialogue in Washington, the first such talks since US President Joe Biden took power in January 2021.

They discussed ways to advance bilateral cooperation in line with the strong strategic relations between Cairo and Washington, as well as several international and regional issues of common concern.

The inaugural session of the two-day dialogue witnessed the participation of representatives from the Ministries of Defence, Trade and Industry, and Higher Education, as well as the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) from the Egyptian side.

Minister Shoukry stressed in his opening speech the uniqueness of Egypt-US relations at all levels, and the need to continue working towards strengthening all frameworks of cooperation between the two countries. This includes the areas of trade, energy, research and development, technology, higher education, cultural exchange, and healthcare.

He highlighted the importance of this partnership in enhancing the Egyptian state’s ability to face local challenges, including terrorism and extremist ideology, and in supporting the state’s tireless efforts to achieve development. Shoukry also pointed out that Egypt plays a leading role in maintaining stability and security in the region.

Internally, Shoukry reviewed the efforts of the Egyptian state to provide a decent life for the citizens, and to promote civil, political, economic, and social rights, taking into account “the developmental realities, religious background, and cultural characteristics” of the country.

In this regard, Shoukry mentioned the National Human Rights Strategy which came as a result of a comprehensive community dialogue with the participation of the civil society, in addition to the recent cancelation of the prolonged state of emergency.

He expressed his aspiration for the strategic dialogue to come out with results that reflect the distinction and specificity of Egyptian-American relations.

The meeting also dealt with a number of international and regional files of common interest, especially the situation in Libya.

Minister Shoukry stressed the necessity of holding the presidential and parliamentary elections by the end of this year, as well as removing all foreign forces and mercenaries from the Libyan territory.

The developments of the Palestinian cause and Egypt’s continuous efforts to revive the peace track were also discussed.

The two ministers also addressed the latest developments in Syria and efforts to end the crisis there, as well as the latest developments in Sudan.

The two sides discussed the latest developments in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) dispute, where Minister Shoukry stressed the need to resume the direct negotiations as soon as possible with the aim of reaching a legally binding agreement on filling and operation of the dam in a manner that achieves the interests of the three concerned countries (Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia) and preserves Egypt’s water rights.

The upcoming sessions will see discussions on a number of areas of cooperation of mutual interest, including political, economic, judicial, and human rights, educational, and cultural issues, as well as exchanging visions on regional and international issues.

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