The U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met yesterday with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy to discuss recent events in Egypt and the Middle East, as well as the defense relationship between the United States and Egypt.
In a statement summarizing the meeting, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said Hagel assured Fahmy that the United States remains committed to advancing shared security interests in the region, including counterterrorism, border security, and Sinai security. He thanked the minister for his support to those missions and for that of Egypt’s armed forces as well, Kirby added.
“The two leaders discussed political developments in Egypt, to include the need for a proper balance between security and freedom,” the press secretary said. “Secretary Hagel stressed the role of political inclusiveness and dissent in the democratic process and asked Minister Fahmy to help encourage peaceful dissent by releasing activists and journalists who have been detained.”
Hagel and Fahmy also discussed Egypt’s judicial process, including U.S. concerns over recent mass trials and death penalty sentences, Kirby said, adding that the secretary urged the Egyptian government to ensure due process rights are being afforded to all Egyptians.
Press Release, May 1, 2014; Image: U.S. DoD