US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met on Thursday with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo, part of a tour to address concerns of American allies in the Middle East.
The visit by Washington’s top diplomat comes amid confusion in the region over a surprise plan by President Donald Trump’s administration to pull US troops out of Syria.
Pompeo arrived in Cairo late Wednesday following stops in Jordan and Iraq, in his longest trip since taking the post last year.
He met with Sisi in Ittihadeya Palace and is scheduled to hold talks with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry before giving a keynote speech Thursday at the American University in Cairo outlining US Middle East policy.
Later, speaking at a joint news conference with Shoukry in Cairo, Pompeo said that Washington remained a steadfast partner in the Middle East.
“The United States under President Trump will remain a steadfast partner in the region for Egypt and others. We urge every country to take meaningful action to crush terrorism and denounce its ideological roots. You’ll not fight these battles alone. Our robust battle against ISIS, al-Qaida and others will continue.”
Pompeo said on Thursday the US would withdraw its troops from Syria while continuing to finish the battle against ISIS.
The United States and Egypt enjoy warm ties under the Trump administration. Trump and his Egyptian counterpart Sisi have lavished one another with praise on several occasions.
Since 1980, the US government has provided Egypt with more than $40 billion in military and $30 billion in economic assistance. From Cairo, Pompeo is scheduled to head to Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait.
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