Remarks After Meeting With Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Cairo, Egypt
April 20, 2016

Well, let me express what a pleasure it is for me to be back in Cairo.  I’m very grateful to President al-Sisi and Foreign Minister Shoukry for their welcome and for the serious conversation that we just engaged in.  Regrettably, this is a short visit only because I need to join President Obama for the summit that we’re having in the region, but I committed to President al-Sisi today to return very soon to follow up on the discussion that we had this morning.

We talked in a very serious and very constructive way about the challenges that Egypt is facing, and I want to emphasize that the United States views Egypt as critical to the peace and security of the entire region.  We care enormously about the – about succeeding in overcoming the difficult challenges that Egypt faces at this moment, both in terms of security, the challenge of extremists who engage in activities that create instability and attack the peace and security of all citizens everywhere, and also the challenge of an economy that needs to see greater investment, more job creation, and growth.

The United States wants to help in those endeavors, and in furtherance of that, I will come back with additional thoughts about ways in which we can work together to invigorate the economy, to attract investment, to create jobs, and also ways that we can work together in order to deal with Daesh particularly and to help Egypt in terms of the security concerns that it has today.

We talked, of course, about politics, about Syria, about Libya, where there are real challenges and where Egypt is being enormously helpful.  We have mutual interests in the security of the region.  And we also talked about ways in which we can hopefully resolve some of the differences and questions that have arisen about the internal politics and choices for the people of Egypt.

Let me emphasize, most importantly, Egypt has always been and is the historical center of the Arab world.  It’s a quarter of the Arab population.  The United States understands the importance of Egypt to this region and we are deeply committed – contrary to some things that occasionally get written or some suggestions that people make – we are deeply committed to the stability of Egypt and to helping Egypt through the difficult challenges that it faces, which, by the way, it doesn’t face alone in the world.  There are many countries going through this kind of challenge at this time. 

So it’s important for all of us to work together to find the common through, and through a long history, Egypt and the United States have been able to do that.  So we look forward to doing so in the days ahead.  Thank you.