Cairo – Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry headed to Washington on Tuesday to hold talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on bilateral relations and several regional issues, the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement.
“The visit will aim at strengthening the Egypt-U.S. relations and stress the importance of achieving the Egyptian-U.S. common interests, particularly during the coming period as the U.S. transitions to the new administration,” Egyptian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said in the statement.
The Egyptian foreign minister is also expected to discuss U.S. aid to Egypt with Kerry. Abou Zeid added that Shoukry would discuss the economic reform program and the measures Egypt has taken recently to boost its economy.
Abu Zeid said the foreign minister’s visit would include meetings with senior U.S. congressmen and diplomats, with whom discussions would focus on bilateral relations in the coming phase and the developments in the Middle East.
“Shoukry will also discuss Egypt’s assessment of the events in Syria, Libya as well as the Palestinian issue and the efforts to combat terrorism,” the spokesperson said in the statement.
Abou Zeid added that Shoukry and Kerry were expected to sign a memorandum of understanding on limiting illegal smuggling of Egyptian archeological objects to the U.S.
Abou Zeid added that Shoukry would conclude his visit to the U.S. with a meeting with the new U.N. Secretary General António Guterres. The officials will discuss a number of regional and international issues.
Shoukry’s visit to the U.S. will be the first visit by an Egyptian official following the election of president-elect Donald Trump earlier this month.