Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with his United States counterpart John Kerry in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday on the sidelines of the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit.
They discussed a range of regional and bilateral issues, including Libya, Syria, and Yemen, according to Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid.
During the meeting, Shoukry and Kerry reviewed progress regarding the current ceasefire in Syria, and potential ways to support the recently formed national unity government in Libya.
On Yemen, both ministries reviewed the UN sponsored talks between warring conflict parties.
“Egypt considers this a pillar of its foreign policy, its relationship with the United States—the strategic nature and the commonality of our interests—and in working together, we are more confident in our ability to meet the challenges of the region and to proceed on Egypt’s road to the future,” Shoukry said.
He added: “After the revolutions of 25 January and 30 June, we are on the path towards democratisation, towards establishing rule of law.”
Kerry highlighted the US’ commitment to helping Egypt fight terrorism, increase economic growth, govern democratically, and bolster regional security.
According to an official statement by State Department Spokesperson John Kirby, Kerry also discussed the importance of easing restrictions on freedom of expression in Egypt and of allowing human rights NGOs to operate freely.
This comes after a standoff between Shoukry and Kerry following reports about a new wave of prosecution against NGO workers in Egypt.
Kerry issued a statement on Saturday in which he expressed his deep concern over the human rights situation in Egypt in recent months, to which Shoukry responded that it is an “internal issue”.
The Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) is a global event held annually to prevent nuclear terrorism around the world. It was first held in Washington, D.C. in 2010.