MIDDLE EAST

Egypt's al-Sisi meets with CENTCOM chief in Cairo

EGYPTS AL-SISI MEETS WITH CENTCOM CHIEF IN CAIRO

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi on Thursday met with Gen. Joseph Votel, the head of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), to discuss means of enhancing military cooperation between the two countries.

According to a statement released by the Egyptian presidency after the meeting, the two men also discussed recent developments -- on both the military and political levels -- in the Middle East region.

In his talks with Votel, al-Sisi stressed the importance of Egypt's longstanding "strategic partnership" with the U.S., especially in terms of military cooperation.-

Votel, for his part, underlined Washington's keenness to further enhance U.S.-Egypt relations, praising Cairo's role in the regional fight against terrorism.

Last week, the Egyptian army began a wide-ranging operation in the Sinai Peninsula aimed at finding and destroying "terrorist elements".

The CENTCOM chief's visit to Cairo is the third this year by a senior U.S. official.

U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence visited Egypt last month and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson -- now on a five-nation tour of the region -- visited Cairo earlier this week.

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