CAIRO (September, 21, 2011) — U.S. Central Command Commander, Gen. James Mattis departed Egypt yesterday after visiting and consulting with senior Egyptian military officials. Mattis met with Lt. Gen. Anan, Chief of Staff of the Egyptian Armed Forces and Field Marshal Tantawi, Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces. “I want to pass my condolences to the people of Egypt and its government for their recent losses of life,” said Mattis.
Gen Mattis stressed that it is important to continue the strong military-to-military relationship between the two countries. “The U.S.-Egypt relationship is vitally important,” said Mattis. “I have deep respect for the Egyptian military’s efforts to maintain law and order, such as in the Sinai where they have a long history of ensuring proper security.” Gen. Mattis discussed regional issues and military cooperation with his Egyptian colleagues. “I have gained a further appreciation of the dynamic and complex nature of the domestic and international challenges Egypt faces. The Egyptian military is a professional force and I am confident it will continue to support the ongoing political process while serving as the guardian of the nation.” The visit is the fifth that Mattis has made to the country since taking command of CENTCOM thirteen months ago.