20:58 GMT25 September 2020
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    Egypt’s president says his country needs more military aid from the United States in order to fight the self-proclaimed Islamic State, adding that a regional coalition should be created to battle the extremist group.

    “The region is facing very tough circumstances now," said President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Fox News, speaking through a translator. “The public opinion wants to see a big response from capable countries — countries that are able to provide assistance to it. It is very important for the United States to understand that our need for the weapons and for the equipment is dire, especially at the time when the Egyptians feel they are fighting terrorism and they would like to feel the United States is standing by them in that fight against terrorism.”  

    The US leads an international coalition that has been hitting IS positions in Iraq and Syria. Leaders from Egypt, along with those from the five Gulf Arab states and Jordan and Turkey have been meeting to hammer out a plan of working as a coalition against the terror organization.

    Al-Sisi made the comments just days before US Secretary of State John Kerry travels to the region to meet with him and participate in the Egypt Economic Development Conference.

    Kerry is also scheduled to meet with other senior Egyptian officials to talk about continued efforts against IS, and the situation in Syria, among other bilateral issues.  

    Egypt is the fourth-largest recipient of US foreign aid, at $1.5 billion, with $1.3 billion of that being direct military assistance. 


    Tags:
    Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Iraq, US foreign aid, John Kerry, Egypt, Syria, ISIS
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