US, Egypt return to "stronger base" in relationship – Kerry
Aug 7, 2015 According to U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, the United States and Egypt are returning to a “stronger base” in their relationship. This restoration follows a rather bad dent in 2013, when Islamist president Mohamed Mursi was ousted by the military amid mass protests against his rule.
During a joint news conference, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri told newsmen in Cairo that his country had no major disagreements with the United States except for a few “differences in points of view over some issues, which is natural”.
Although the US still harbors concerns over Egypt’s democratic reforms, Cairo remains one of its closest security allies in the Middle East, an increasingly crucial role in the region due to the rise in militia activities in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya.
The U.S. Secretary of State mentioned during the conference, that a nuclear deal between world powers and Iran would contribute greatly to the safety of the region.
“Let me be very clear: the United States has labeled Iran the number one state sponsor of terror in the world and the United States has taken steps over the course of the last years to try to deal with the reality of the destabilizing choices that have been made. But I have one simple fact to put in front of everybody: if Iran is destabilizing, it is far, far better to have an Iran that doesn’t have a nuclear weapon, than one that does,”
He went on to say:
“So I am absolutely convinced that Egypt, Israel, the Gulf states – every country in the region – is safer with one year breakout, for ten years, than two months and safer with inspections and safer with reductions of the stockpile and safer with an adopted process under the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) that Iran has to live by for the lifetime of this agreement,”
Amongst other topics, Kerry said the talks also tackled the issue of the Egyptian’s parliamentary elections coming up by the end of the year. He stressed that both he and Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri had agreed on the importance of ensuring a “free, fair and transparent” election.
While the US government has praised former general Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for the stability he has brought to Egypt, it has also cautiously criticized Egypt’s human rights record and a crackdown on Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood.
The Egyptian government has referred to the Brotherhood as a threat to national security but denies all allegations of human right violations.