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Egypt's President Sisi meets with CIA chief in Cairo

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this image provided by the office of the Egyptian Presidency, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi (R) meets with CIA director John Brennan (C) and Khaled Fawzy, the director of Egypt’s General Intelligence Directorate, in the capital Cairo, on April 19, 2015. (AP)

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi has held talks with CIA Director John Brennan amid Cairo’s heavy-handed clampdown on opponents of the country’s military-backed government.

According to a statement released by the Egyptian government, Sisi and Brennan discussed regional issues, terrorism and "ways of enhancing bilateral relations" in their Sunday meeting in the Egyptian capital Cairo.

The two sides agreed to continue "consultation and coordination on issues of mutual interest,” the statement added. 

The announced visit by the CIA chief to the North African country came less than two weeks after the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced plans to sell air-to-surface missiles worth of $57 million to Egypt.

Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, was ousted in July 2013 in a military coup led by Sisi, the then army commander.

Since Morsi’s ouster, Egypt has been the scene of massive anti-government protests, with continuous clashes between security forces and the supporters of the former president, backed by the Muslim Brotherhood movement.

Supporters of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood movement leave as security forces arrive to disperse a demonstration in the Cairo district of Heliopolis on January 24, 2015. (AFP)

The new rulers in Egypt have come under pressure from human rights groups over their harsh crackdown on Brotherhood members and supporters.

The Egyptian administration's suppression has led to the deaths of more than 1,400 people and the arrest of 22,000 others, including some 200 people who have been sentenced to death in mass trials.

However, Egypt’s former dictator, Hosni Mubarak, and a few of his senior officials have been acquitted of all charges leveled against them over the killing of protesters in the country’s 2011 revolution.

SSM/NT/AS


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