U.S. House of Representatives Speaker leads delegation to meet President Sisi

Thursday 07-04-2016 01:41 PM

U.S congress building. Reuters

CAIRO, Apr 7 (Aswat Masriya) – The United States House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan heads a delegation from the U.S. Congress in a two-day visit to Egypt to meet with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and other Egyptian officials, the U.S. embassy announced in a press release Thursday.

Speaker Ryan and his delegation arrived Thursday morning, according to sources from the Cairo International Airport. They plan to meet with President Sisi to discuss shared interests related to security, stability, and the fight against terrorism. 

The delegation is also set to meet with Speaker of the Egyptian Parliament, Ali Abdel Aal, to explore opportunities for cooperation between the Egyptian Parliament and the United States House of Representatives, the U.S embassy added.

The visit marks the second during this week, as a U.S. Congress delegation led by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham visited Cairo on Saturday for two days. Delegation members met with Sisi as well as defense minister Sedki Sobhi.

President Sisi is "the right man at the right time,” Graham said in a press conference on Sunday.

The comment came amid widespread local and international concern over alleged human rights violations in Egypt.

The human rights situation in Egypt was criticised by the U.S. in a statement last month following a decision by Egypt to reopen investigation into a case in which a number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are accused of receiving illegal funding.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had expressed "deep concern by the deterioration in the human rights situation in Egypt.”

The case dates back to 2011 when Egyptian authorities raided several NGOs and launched an investigation into allegations of receiving foreign funds. Forty-three Egyptians and foreigners were convicted in the case in 2013. At the time Kerry described the case as being "politically motivated".   

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