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Egypt, US to bolster trade cooperation

The US and Egypt on Wednesda y announced they would bolster trade cooperation, one week before President Barack Obama’s planned trip to Egy p t and his much-anticipated speech directed to the Muslim world.

The two nations said that these efforts would continue the relationship between Washington and its staunch ally in Cairo.

Deepening trade ties should mesh well with the strong cooperation between Washin gton and Cairo on political and security matters, said the joint statement issue d by US Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry

Rachid Mohammed Rachid after a meeting in Washington.

The two men signed a “United States/Egypt Plan for a Strategic Partnership” unde r which senior US and Egyptian officials will develop a framework over the next t hree months for trade and investment cooperation, the statement said.

“In the months ahead, we have dedicated ourselves to pursuing a programme of int ensified US-Egyptian cooperation on economic, trade, and investment issues,” it s aid.

The strengthened cooperation will “help to sustain Egypt’s important recent econ omic reform efforts,” the statement added.

Egypt, which signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, has been a key Washingto n partner in decades of efforts to secure Middle East peace, and is one of the b i ggest recipients of US military and economic aid.

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