US defense secretary arrives in Cairo for Sissi meeting

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi welcomes US Defense Secretary James Mattis at the Ittihadiya presidential palace in Cairo (AFP)
Updated 20 April 2017

US defense secretary arrives in Cairo for Sissi meeting

CAIRO: US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis arrived in Cairo Thursday on the latest leg of a regional tour, as ties with Egypt continue to warm under President Donald Trump.
After touching down at Cairo airport, Mattis set off to meet President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who was hailed by Trump during a White House visit earlier this month.
Sissi’s visit marked a shift in relations after Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama had given the Egyptian leader the cold shoulder for staging the military overthrow of Islamist president Muhammad Mursi in 2013.
Obama temporarily suspended military aid to Egypt following a bloody crackdown on Mursi’s supporters.
Trump, however, has set aside criticism of Sissi’s human rights record while pledging to maintain support for the key US ally which receives an annual $1.3 billion in military aid.
After meeting Sissi, Mattis is scheduled to hold talks with Defense Minister Sedki Sobhi. He leaves Thursday afternoon to Israel.
No announcement is expected during the Egyptian leg of the tour, which started with a visit to Saudi Arabia.
In Egypt, talks are likely to touch on the military’s counterinsurgency in the Sinai Peninsula, where an Daesh group affiliate has killed hundreds of soldiers and policemen.
The Pentagon is also concerned with preventing jihadists from crossing Libya’s porous border with Egypt and the reported presence of Russian troops in Egypt’s western desert, which Cairo has denied.


Iran condemns US show of support for ‘rioters’

Updated 18 November 2019

Iran condemns US show of support for ‘rioters’

  • Protests erupted in Iran on Friday, hours after it was announced the price of petrol would rise to 15,000 rials a liter
  • ‘The dignified people of Iran know well that such hypocritical remarks do not carry any honest sympathy’

TEHRAN: Iran condemned the United States’ support for “rioters” in a statement issued late Sunday, after two days of violent protests in the Islamic republic against a petrol price hike.
The foreign ministry said that it was reacting to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s “expression of support... for a group of rioters in some cities of Iran and condemned such support and interventionist remarks.”
Protests erupted in Iran on Friday, hours after it was announced the price of petrol would rise to 15,000 rials a liter (12 US cents) from 10,000 for the first 60 liters and to 30,000 rials for any extra fuel bought after that each month.
In a tweet on Saturday, Pompeo said in response to the demonstrations that “the United States is with you.”
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi slammed his comments in Sunday night’s statement.
“The dignified people of Iran know well that such hypocritical remarks do not carry any honest sympathy,” Mousavi was quoted as saying.
“The acts of a rioter and saboteur group supported by the likes of (Pompeo) have no congruity with the conduct of the wise Iranian people.”
The statement blasted Washington’s “ill-intent” over its decision to reimpose sanctions on Tehran after the US withdrawal in May last year from the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
“It’s curious that the sympathizing is being done with the people who are under the pressure of America’s economic terrorism,” Mousavi said.

Related