April 26th, 2016 17:20 EST
Chairman Seeks to Solidify Military-to-Military Relations With Egypt
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff visited Cairo this week for the second time in as many months to meet with senior Egyptian leaders in an effort to solidify military-to-military relations with this critical American partner in the Middle East.
Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford met April 23 with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, Egyptian Defense Chief Army Lt. Gen. Mahmoud Hegazy and U.S. embassy officials.
The real purpose of the visit was a follow-on [to my previous trip] to develop effective military-to-military relations [with Egypt], " the chairman said to reporters traveling with him. They can be an important partner in the region. They are dealing with significant challenges in the west with Libya and a challenge in the east with [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] in Sinai. "
It is important that the United States cooperate with Egypt in terms of the threat in the region and to look for opportunities to deal with the threats collaboratively, Dunford said.
The chairman said he talked generally with Egyptian leaders about ways to increase cooperation and that the meetings -- last month and these latest meetings -- are door-openers " for the relationship.
I get the sense that they welcome a better relationship with us, " the chairman said. Although we have a broader relationship between our two countries that is bigger than security, the military-to-military relationship can be a foundation. "
The chairman said he has extended an invitation to his Egyptian counterpart to visit the United States and continue the conversation.
(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)
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