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Mattis Discusses Security Cooperation After Egypt Visit

April 20, 2017 | BY Lisa Ferdinando

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis met today in Cairo with Egyptian officials and discussed security threats facing the North African nation and ways to boost bilateral security cooperation.

Mattis met with Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Defense Minister Sedki Sobhy.

VIDEO | 06:08 | Defense Secretary Speaks to Press in Tel Aviv

"We agreed on the need for a renewed and strong security partnership," Mattis told reporters after arriving in Tel Aviv, Israel, which is the next stop on his trip.

Countering Terrorism

Mattis said he had a good discussion with the Egyptian president, and spoke to the defense minister about "efforts to counter terrorism and secure the borders in this very complex security environment," he said, adding, "You have seen the threats manifested against Egypt."

He noted a number of terrorist attacks in Egypt, including in the Sinai, and those targeting the military as well as Christians and Coptic churches.

Mattis said the discussions were a continuation of the talks from earlier this month when the Egyptian president visited the Pentagon.

U.S.-Egyptian Military-to-Military Relationship

"I left Cairo very confident in the avenues we have to advance our military-to-military relationship, which has been a bedrock and has stood solid all these years," Mattis said.

The secretary visited Saudi Arabia as the first stop of this trip, and after his stop in Israel he’ll travel to Qatar and Djibouti.

(Follow Lisa Ferdinando on Twitter: @FerdinandoDoD)