On 16-17th January, UK Minister of State for Security Ben Wallace visited Cairo and met senior Egyptian officials, including Egyptian Minister of the Interior Magdy Abdel Ghaffar and Minister for Civil Aviation Sherif Fathy. On the day Egyptians heard about the terrorist attack in the New Valley the Minister expressed Britain’s revulsion and condemnation of those attacking Egypt, and renewed Britain’s pledge to support Egypt in defeating terrorism.
This is the first in a series of senior UK Ministerial visits to Egypt planned for 2017, and follows the UK Minister of Defence and HMS Ocean visits to Egypt last year. During his visit Mr Wallace visited Cairo Airport to view the latest security procedures put in place by the Egyptian authorities at the new Terminal 2 building, as well as the pyramids to discuss preventative security measures.
Mr Wallace conveyed to his counterparts that the UK and Egypt face the same threats from terrorism and extremism, and that the UK is committed to working in partnership with the Egyptian government to defeat those who seek to harm and divide us. In particular, Mr Wallace thanked his counterparts for the continued joint work on aviation security, and said resuming flights between the UK and Sharm el Sheikh is a priority for both countries.
The UK and Egypt already enjoy close security cooperation, and Mr Wallace discussed efforts to strengthen the relationship, including through sharing expertise in tourist security, crisis management, and countering IEDs. He said he looked forward to an increasingly strong and strategic partnership with Egypt on security in the period ahead.
Mr Wallace also reiterated the UK’s view that Egypt’s long-term stability relies on political and economic reform to build a strong economy and society in addition to strong security. He welcomed the Egyptian government’s clear vision for economic reform, and said Britain would continue to support Egypt’s economic revival with technical policy assistance, help to Egypt’s poorest, and new investment to create jobs and growth.