As a nation on the front lines of the global war on terrorism, Egypt is America’s key partner on shared goals of security, peace and stability throughout the Middle East, North Africa and beyond.
The inauguration of the Egypt-U.S. Strategic Dialogue in 2015 represented a new milestone in our countries’ partnership, and our bilateral military-to-military relations have been marked by increasing collaboration in recent months as we confront common threats and advance shared interests.
In April 2017, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis held productive conversations with President El Sisi and Minister of Defense Sedki Sobhy, where he pledged to support Egypt in its battle against terrorism and to strengthen the military bond between the two countries. In the week following Secretary Mattis’ visit, Egyptian and American navies participated in Eagle Salute 2017, a multinational military exercise that included a wide range of activities such as planning and organizing joint combat operations in coordination with Air Force elements;
As partners in the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, Egypt works closely with the U.S. to provide intelligence and eliminate sources of terrorist funding and recruitment—in addition to a longstanding commitment to permit U.S. overflights of Egyptian airspace and expedited transit through the Suez Canal.
The U.S. provides critical support to Egypt in the campaign to defeat ISIS and al Qaeda-linked terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula. This includes the delivery of U.S.-made mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles in May 2016 and Apache helicopters in 2014 to help Egypt’s armed forces combat Islamist militants in Northern Sinai. This fight has important implications across the region and ongoing American military support to Egypt is a crucial component of the broader war against terror.
Today’s joint efforts to combat terrorism are built on decades of cooperation. Egypt is one of the founders of the global Counter Terrorism Forum, a multilateral counter terrorism (CT) platform that focuses on identifying critical civilian CT needs, mobilizing the necessary expertise and resources to enhance global cooperation. Egypt and the U.S. co-chair the CT Forum’s working group on criminal justice and the rule of law. This joint leadership demonstrates the Forum’s commitment to combating and preventing terrorism with approaches that are compliant with the rule of law and international human rights obligations.