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US Defense Secretary Mattis Visits Egypt
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited Egypt Thursday, continuing Washington's warming of relations with Cairo during the Trump administration's first 100 days.
Mattis met with Egyptian Defense Minister Sedki Sobhy and President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, whose White House visit earlier this month was the first by an Egyptian leader since former U.S. President Barack Obama hosted Hosni Mubarak in 2009.
Political upheaval in 2011 ousted Mubarak and started years of turmoil that brought the authoritarian former general Sissi to power.
While in Egypt, Mattis was expected to push the country, which is struggling with political, financial and security issues, to remain tough on counter-terrorism amid a threat in the Sinai Peninsula and even in some urban areas, as shown in the deadly Palm Sunday attacks on Coptic churches in Alexandria and Tanta conducted by Islamic State militants.