The UK’s Defence Senior Advisor for the Middle East, Lt General Tom Beckett, arrived today in Cairo to discuss opportunities to expand joint military training between Egypt and the UK, as well as counter terrorism and regional concerns.
The British Embassy in Cairo said in a statement that the visit is “the latest in a series of high profile defence engagement visits between the UK and Egypt this year.”
Beckett is due to meet with the Assistant Egyptian Minister of Defence for External Relations, Major General Mohammed Abdulfattah El Keshki, and the Chief of the Training Authority, Major General Nasser Mohamed Ibrahim Assi, with the aim to drive forward plans to expand British-Egyptian military engagement.
The UK, alongside Egypt, plays a leading role in the 68-member Global Coalition against Daesh. Britain has been also providing Egypt with practical support in the fight against Daesh.
During the visit, the UK defence official will discuss counter-terrorism related efforts, including in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. He will also discuss regional concerns, including Libya, Yemen and Qatar.
On his part, the British Ambassador to Egypt, John Casson, said that “The UK and Egypt’s defence partnership is strong and getting stronger. We face the same threat of terrorism in the UK as in Egypt. Working together, especially through joint training to share expertise, we can and will overcome it.”
Over the course of this year, a number of UK defence officials have visited Egypt, including the UK Deputy Chief of Defence Staff for Military Strategy and Operations, Lieutenant General Mark Carleton-Smith, in April and the UK Chief of Defence Intelligence, Air Marshal Philip Osborn, in May.
The Chief of Staff of the Egyptian Armed Forces, Mahmoud Hegazy, also visited Britain in mid-April, where he held talks with senior British officials on military and security cooperation.