Defense Secretary James N. Mattis met Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo today, Pentagon chief spokesperson Dana W. White said in a readout following the meeting.
Mattis offered his condolences for the recent terrorist attack on a mosque in Bir al Abed, Egypt, she said.
The defense secretary recognized Egypt as a strategic defense partner for the United States, Egypt’s importance to the stability of the Middle East, as well as Egypt's ongoing fight to counter terrorism and protect Egypt's borders, White said.
The two leaders discussed a range of Middle East security issues and expressed their desire to cooperate on counterterrorism and regional challenges, she said. They also recognized defense cooperation as the backbone of the U.S.-Egyptian bilateral relationship, White said, and expressed a mutual desire to deepen their countries' defense partnership moving forward.