Cairo, Egypt - Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry hosted United States Secretary of State John Kerry in Cairo today for the inaugural round of the Egypt-U.S. Strategic Dialogue at the ministerial level, based on the shared belief that it is necessary to deepen the Egypt-U.S. bilateral relationship to advance our shared interest after almost four decades of close partnership and cooperation. This belief reflects the importance of the two countries’ regional and international roles and the need to develop collective solutions to a wide range of complex issues.

The two sides agreed to continue close cooperation to improve their mutual security, to combat terrorism and extremism, and to work together to delegitimize terrorist narratives. They discussed the status of Egypt’s Road Map and the importance of efforts to promote democracy and human rights in all fields, including in the fight against terrorism. The U.S. welcomed Egypt’s participation in the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, and reiterated its unwavering support for Egypt in its fight against terrorism.

The two Ministers underlined the importance of working together to address the current conflicts in the Middle East region, especially in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen. Moreover, the two sides emphasized the importance of attaining a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement between Israelis and Palestinians, which fulfills the vision of the two-state solution, in accordance with the agreed principles and international resolutions. They also discussed other regional developments, and expressed the importance of the full implementation of JCPOA between Iran and the EU3+3 to enhance regional security and stability.

Commensurate with their commitment to further the strategic ties between the two countries, both sides reviewed ongoing developments in their relations at the bilateral level. The two Ministers discussed the prospects of enhancing the relations in various fields, including military cooperation and people-to-people relations, as well as increasing cooperation in cultural and educational domains.

The two delegations reaffirmed their shared commitment to broaden and deepen bilateral economic and commercial cooperation. They acknowledged the importance of expanded trade and investment ties as the key to a sustainable, balanced and enduring partnership, including through reinforcing cooperation in the areas of information technology and energy, and deepening cooperation to create jobs, enhance education, and promote healthcare. The United States congratulated the Government of Egypt on the upcoming opening of the Suez Canal. Both governments welcomed the Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund’s announcement of its first USD $20 million investment. Ministers agreed to hold Trade and Investment Framework Agreement Talks, resume the Bilateral Science and Technology Agreement and renew the high-level Working Group on Information and Communication Technology.

The two sides renewed their commitment to the strategic relationship and resolved to take practical and specific steps to consolidate it. They further stressed that a long-term and strong Egypt-U.S. partnership, anchored in the common goals of their strategic ties, is vital for the peace, stability and prosperity of the region. The two sides agreed to hold the next round of the Strategic Dialogue in Washington, D.C. in 2016.