Wednesday, July 12, 2006

High Level Dialogue Between Egypt and USA.

Egypt and the United States are to start holding frequent inter-ministerial consultations on key issues in the Middle East, Washington's top regional envoy David Welch said.
"I conveyed this morning an invitation from Secretary (of State Condoleezza) Rice to Foreign Minister Abul Gheit to begin a high-level strategic dialogue between Egypt and the United States," Welch told reporters after meeting Abul Gheit.

"The foreign minister has accepted this invitation," said Welch, who added that Abul Gheit and an Egyptian delegation were expected in Washington on Tuesday.

"We will cover all the topics of interest in our relationship. This means naturally that we shall discuss the critical regional issues, that will include Iran, Iraq, issues of concern in Africa, for example Sudan and Somalia, and particularly the Israeli-Palestinian question," Welch said.
He said the concept had been in the works for some time and stressed that "a good format" was needed for exchanges between "two countries like Egypt and the United States that have important responsibilities on the global stage."

Welch said that bilateral issues would also be discussed in the new framework, including political reform and human rights.
Egypt, the second largest recipient of US aid after Israel, has acted as a mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and several other hotspots in the region.


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