Dempsey Discusses Issues With Egypt’s Defense Leaders
By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service
CAIRO, Feb. 11, 2012 The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff met here today with Egypt’s top defense officials to discuss a wide range of issues related to the long-standing security relationship between the two countries, said Marine Corps Col. Dave Lapan, the chairman’s spokesman.
U.S. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, talks with senior Egyptian officers near the Egyptian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the tomb of President Anwar Sadat in Cairo, Egypt, on Feb. 11, 2012. Dempsey visited Egypt to meet with defense leaders there and discuss various issues. DOD photo by D. Myles Cullen
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The meetings occur on day three of Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey’s second visit to the region, which included a stop in Afghanistan.
The chairman met here with his counterpart, Lt. Gen. Sami Hafez Enan, chief of staff of the Egyptian armed forces. He also met with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi and with other officials this afternoon at the Ministry of Defense in Cairo.
Discussions included Egypt’s investigation into the allegedly illegal foreign funding of pro-democracy nongovernmental organizations by more than 40 Egyptian and American activists, including 19 U.S. citizens.
Officials of the Cairo Criminal Court have prevented some Americans involved in the investigation from leaving the country, including Sam LaHood, son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. He and several others have taken refuge at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. So far no trial date is set.
Lapan declined to give details of Dempsey’s “private” discussions with Egyptian defense officials.
The chairman also visited the U.S. Embassy, where he met with Ambassador Anne W. Patterson and was briefed by the Egypt country team. Afterward he posed for photographs with members of the Marine Corps detachment assigned to the embassy.
Later, after a wild motorcade ride through the Saturday streets of Cairo, Dempsey arrived at the Ministry of Defense with Patterson.
There he met with Enan and Tantawi. He also met with Maj. Gen. Mohamed el-Assar, assistant minister of defense and a member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces; Maj. Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, director of military intelligence; Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Mohamed Noshy, chief of the Egyptian Army’s training authority; and others.
During a seven-course official lunch with the Egyptian military leadership, Dempsey sat between Enan and el-Assar at the head table. During lunch he asked to thank the chef, who came out of the kitchen for a handshake and a coin from the chairman.
Dempsey also thanked and gave coins to a group of local musicians who played during the meal.
This afternoon, Dempsey participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the pyramid-shaped monument on the site of the Unknown Soldier Memorial and the Anwar Sadat Tomb in Cairo.