US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters Monday at a joint pressure with his Egyptian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry that the two countries share “serious concerns” about Iranian actions in the Middle East.
The briefing was held prior to the start of the US-Egypt Strategic Dialogue – the first to be held since 2015, Blinken noted.
“On Iran, we share serious concerns regarding Iran’s destabilizing influence in the region, including its support for terrorism, its ballistic missile program, and the deplorable practice of arbitrarily detaining foreign nationals – including U.S. citizens – to exert political pressure,” Blinken said in his remarks.
“An Iran with a nuclear weapon would be an even more destabilizing force in the region and beyond, which is why President Biden met recently in Rome with his German, French, and British counterparts to discuss how we can work together to get Iran back into compliance with the JCPOA, the nuclear agreement,” he said.
Shoukry previously served in Washington DC as Egyptian Ambassador to the United States. During his remarks, Blinken commented that he and Shoukry have “known each other, been friends for many years.”
The Egyptian foreign minister said his country “highly values” US assistance in its fight against terrorism and extremism, “and extremist ideology,” as well as supporting Egypt’s efforts to achieve greater growth and economic development for its people.
“Both countries enjoy a high level of coordination at the political level, as exemplified by our latest coordination regarding the situation in Gaza,” Shoukry said.
“Our military and security cooperation, which is acquiring an even greater importance given the many challenges to peace and stability in our region, has deepened in many aspects. . . our close bilateral military cooperation and mutual logistic support has contributed to the capacity of the United States to preserve its core interests in the region and enhance the flexibility of its military posture and its ability to project power across the region,” he added.
The US and Egypt will mark the 100th anniversary of their diplomatic relationship next year.