Washington – Egypt’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Shoukry stressed the strong and consolidated relations with Saudi Arabia, while belittling recent tensions that rose between the two Arab States.
Shoukry served as Egypt’s ambassador to the United States between 2008 and 2012, and was known in Washington as the “architect of the Egyptian-U.S. relations”. He was praised for his diplomatic skills, which enabled him to maintain healthy relations with the U.S. despite the tumultuous developments that were witnessed in Egypt during that period.
In an interview with Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, Shoukry highlighted the importance of the Saudi-Egyptian relations, noting that the two countries share a common history and a common fate.
“Our goal is to promote those relations and put them in a framework that equally serves both people’s interests,” the Egyptian minister said.
He also said that the Kingdom and Egypt maintained continuous cooperation and had common views regarding many bilateral and regional issues, especially with regards to Arab homeland security.
“Egypt has expressed in several circumstances its support to the Kingdom and Gulf States in facing challenges and interference of foreign forces,” he stated.
“This partnership is a guarantee of a more secure and stable future,” he added.
Asked about his recent meetings with the current U.S. Administration and the coming administration of President-elect Donald Trump, Shoukry said that he delivered a message from Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi to Trump stressing his country’s readiness to promote relations with the U.S. and to maintain cooperation aimed at achieving common interests of regional stability and fighting terrorism.
The Egyptian foreign minister said his country was preparing to launch political, economic and social reforms and needed support of international powers, including the U.S.
Asked about the prospects of cooperation between Egypt and Trump’s Administration in fighting terrorism, Shoukry said that statements made by Trump and his assistants have clearly showed the new Administration’s determination to fight terrorism and promote cooperation with regional partners.
He also noted Egypt’s important role in combating all forms of terrorism, starting with efforts to limit the extremist religious rhetoric.
Regarding U.S.-Egyptian cooperation on human rights, Shoukry said that his country has expressed its full commitment to the principles of good governance, democracy and human rights, which were all stated in the Egyptian Constitution.
Asked about his opinion regarding the crisis in Syria, the Egyptian foreign minister said that the Syrian people have underwent one of the most violent civil wars in modern history.
He stressed that any solution to the Syrian crisis should be based on two main pillars: preserving national unity and supporting legitimate ambitions of the Syrian people in rebuilding their country.