Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi has held talks with CIA Director John Brennan amid Cairo’s heavy-handed clampdown on opponents of the country’s military-backed government.
According to a statement released by the Egyptian government, Sisi and Brennan discussed regional issues, terrorism and “ways of enhancing bilateral relations” in their Sunday meeting in the Egyptian capital Cairo.
The two sides agreed to continue “consultation and coordination on issues of mutual interest,” the statement added.
The announced visit by the CIA chief to the North African country came less than two weeks after the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced plans to sell air-to-surface missiles worth of $57 million to Egypt.
Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, was ousted in July 2013 in a military coup led by Sisi, the then army commander.
Since Morsi’s ouster, Egypt has been the scene of massive anti-government protests, with continuous clashes between security forces and the supporters of the former president, backed by the Muslim Brotherhood movement.
The new rulers in Egypt have come under pressure from human rights groups over their harsh crackdown on Brotherhood members and supporters.
The Egyptian administration’s suppression has led to the deaths of more than 1,400 people and the arrest of 22,000 others, including some 200 people who have been sentenced to death in mass trials.
However, Egypt’s former dictator, Hosni Mubarak, and a few of his senior officials have been acquitted of all charges leveled against them over the killing of protesters in the country’s 2011 revolution.