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Monday, 27 February 2017

CENTOM commander in Egypt, meets with El Sisi, Sobhi

Welcome back, Bright Star? United States Central Command (CENTCOM) Commander Joseph L. Votel was in Cairo yesterday “for meetings with Egyptian senior leaders,” according to a US Embassy statement. Votel met with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Defense Minister Sedki Sobhi to discuss strengthening “partnership in the fight against terrorism and in promoting stability throughout the Middle East region.” Ittihadiya issued a statement saying El Sisi emphasized the strategic importance of Egyptian-US relations, adding that “that Egypt has spared no efforts to fight the spread of terrorism and extremist thought, particularly over the past three years.” The New York Times has picked up the story, suggesting that the meeting could see the return of the joint Bright Star military exercises, which then-US President Barack Obama axed in 2013 to protest Raba’a. The Times quotes Votel as telling Egyptian TV that, “It is my goal to get that exercise back on track and try to re-establish that as another key part of our military relationship.”

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