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Tillerson says US backs Egypt’s anti-terror fight

Monitoring Desk

CAIRO: U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Monday that Washington supports Egypt in the fight against terrorism, adding that his country remained committed to achieving peace in the Middle East.

Tillerson made the remarks at a joint news conference in Cairo with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri.

Washington, Tillerson told reporters, supported Egypt in its ongoing fight against the Daesh terrorist group.

He also reiterated calls for free and fair elections in Egypt, where presidential polls are slated for next month.

Regarding the regional peace process, the U.S. secretary of state reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to achieving a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Shukri, for his part, said his talks with Tillerson had focused largely on the war against terrorism and the latest regional developments.

He went on to point out that his country was currently engaged in a “wide-ranging campaign” aimed at eradicating terrorism from Egyptian territory.

Shukri also praised continued U.S. support for Egypt in the latter’s war against regional terrorist groups.

“There is a common vision and a desire to continue working together with a view to stabilizing areas of tension in the region,” he said.

Tillerson arrived in Egypt on Sunday for the first leg of a wider Middle East tour that will also take him to Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Kuwait.

Tillerson’s visit to Egypt is the second this year by a top-level U.S. official.

On Jan. 20, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visited Cairo to discuss bilateral ties — and the thorny issue of Jerusalem — with Egyptian officials.

Last December, U.S. President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, sparking widespread condemnation and protest from across the Arab and Muslim world.

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