A senior British security delegation were the first Western visitors received by Egypt’s newly sworn-in president Abdel Fatah El Sisi. The delegation, headed by Sir Kim Darroch, the British National Security Advisor, reportedly expressed its awareness of the big challenges faced by Egypt in reviving its economy and in fighting a mounting Islamist militancy. Furthermore, Darrock reportedly said that the UK looks forward to bolstering its strategic partnership with Egypt to confront growing terrorism in the region in particular Syria and Iraq. He also expressed UK’s willingness to support Egypt in possible upcoming loan negotiations with the International Monetary Fund.
The meeting between the two sides raises eyebrows as it completes a circle that started with a similar visit to Egypt by a senior UK security chief only days before mass demonstrations against then President Hosni Mubarak got going in January 2011.
It is also being speculated by geostrategic pundits that a prompt visit by a high level UK security delegation, including Defense Senior Advisor for the Middle East Lt Gen Simon Mayall, only days after El Sisi was sworn-in compared to a two-day late congratulation given by US president Barak Obama to President El Sisi could be the final act in formally handing over responsibility for the Middle East’s most populous and strategically most important nation from the United States to its former colonial ruler, the UK, by an America eager to focus on its pivot to Asia.
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