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Blinken: Human rights central to US-Egypt relationship

Nominated Secretary of State Antony Blinken(R) participates as US President-elect Joe Biden speaks during a cabinet announcement event in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 24, 2020. - US President-elect Joe Biden introduced November 24, 2020 a seasoned national security team he said was prepared to resume US leadership of the world after the departure of President Donald Trump. "It's a team that will keep our country and our people safe and secure," Biden said, introducing his picks for secretary of state, national security advisor, intelligence chief, and other key cabinet jobs"It's a team that reflects the fact that America is back. Ready to lead the world, not retreat from it," Biden said. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)
Secretary of State Antony Blinken(R) participates as US President-elect Joe Biden speaks during a cabinet announcement event in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 24, 2020 [CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images]

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed a range of issues with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, including partnership and human rights, the State Department said Tuesday, Anadolu Agency reported.

The two diplomats discussed a "strong strategic partnership" between the two nations on security and counterterrorism cooperation over the telephone, said agency spokesperson Ned Price in a statement.

"The Secretary raised concerns over human rights, which he emphasized would be central to the US-Egypt bilateral relationship, and Egypt's potential procurement of Su-35 fighter aircraft from Russia," said the statement.

READ: Egypt targeting opposition members of parliament, rights group says

Blinken and Shoukry also talked about supporting UN-facilitated peace negotiations in Libya, the Middle East peace process and counterterrorism cooperation in the Sinai.

Blinken later said on Twitter that he looks forward to "strengthening our historic partnership" with Cairo.

"Our shared security interests must align with respect for democracy and human rights, including the importance of a strong civil society," Blinken tweeted.

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