US vows to stand with Egypt to bolster economic resilience in 'strong, growing' partnership
The United States highlighted its "historically strong and growing" partnership with Egypt as it vowed to stand with the north African country and its people to "bolster economic resilience".
The US Department of State said it supports Egyptians "in their pursuit of a prosperous future" in a statement on Saturday, ahead of Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s arrival in Cairo on Sunday.
Blinken’s visit comes amid an unprecedented slide in the Egyptian pound decreasing to 31.7 to the dollar, as the country’s economy continues to suffer following Russia’s February 2021 invasion of Ukraine, which saw investors pull billions out of the country.
Many Egyptians are struggling to get by, unable to afford meat, eggs and bread.
The US highlighted investments worth $600 million into Egypt’s telecommunications sector, and an Egyptian import of $5.9 billion to "expand and modernise" Egyptian infrastructure.
The US also commended Egypt for concluding an agreement with the International Monetary Fund in December and stated the countries have "committed to establishing a Joint Economic Commission that will further enhance cooperation on all economic and commercial issues".
Washington and Cairo are also partnering to foster "regional cooperation… building on Egypt’s… peace with Israel" through the Negev Forum process, which aims to expand regional economic and security integration for Israel and its Arab allies.
Blinken will travel on Monday and Tuesday to Jerusalem and Ramallah after his stop in Cairo, to visit Israel's new far-right government, whose entry to power has seen Israeli forces kill at least 32 Palestinians in 2023 alone.
The violence is likely to be discussed between Blinken and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, whose country's traditional role as a Middle East mediator has helped him remain a key US partner, despite President Joe Biden's criticism of his human rights record.
Egypt normalised relations with Israel in 1979.
The US highlighted efforts to "promote freedom of expression, end political detention and strengthen the rule of law… in line with Egypt’s National Strategy on Human Rights".
It stated its partnership with Cairo would be stronger "when there is a shared commitment to human rights".