Sameh Shoukry returns to Cairo after Washington’s meetings against IS 

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Egyptian Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Shoukry returns to Cairo after concluding meetings of the coalition against Islamic State (IS) in Washington.

Shoukry’s visit to Washington lasted for about three days. It was his second visit within two months since the inauguration of the new US administration in January.

During his visit, Shoukry attended the coalition meetings and met with US security figures and prominent intellectuals on the sidelines of the coalition. He also attended United Nations (UN) Security Council meetings.

The coalition, which was the core of Shoukry’s visit, aimed at finding new solutions and ideas for fighting IS.

During the coalition meetings, Shoukry explained Egypt’s views on terrorism and confirmed the necessity of adopting a comprehensive intellectual, organisational, and security approach to deal with the various dimensions of terrorism. He also referred to Egypt’s pioneering role in fighting extremist ideology through Egyptian religious mediums.

Meanwhile, US secretary of state Rex Tillerson, who was heading the meeting, said that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have a significant role in fighting IS.

He stated that Washington is ready to intensify its efforts to eliminate IS, adding that the number of foreign fighters joining IS has increased by 90%.

Tillerson concluded that his county will work on returning all people displaced by IS back to their countries.

Shoukry’s meetings with US high security officials focused on the importance of the strategic relations between the two countries, and discussions over the visit of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

The US security figures included the US assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs, the US assistant secretary of state for Near East Affairs Stuart, and the special representative of the US president for international negotiations.

The meetings also asserted the importance of pushing bilateral cooperation to wider horizons that could enhance coordination between the two sides at all levels, especially for fighting against terrorism.

It further witnessed exchanging views on ways to deal with various regional issues, such as the Syrian, Yemeni, and Libyan crises, as well as the efforts to continue negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian sides.

For Shoukry’s meeting with intellectuals, opinion makers, and writers belonging to a number of the most prominent university centres of research and thought, he was keen on reviewing updates in Egypt, as well as updates on its role in regional issues. Among the intellectuals he met was Robert Satloff from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Shoukry further met with the secretary-general of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, who stressed during the meeting on the centrality of Egypt’s role in the regional and international arenas and on its efforts to enhance security and stability in the region as well as its role in combating the threat of terrorism.

Morever, the minister gave a speech in the UN security council regarding the situation in South Sudan.

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