US officials in Egypt's Sinai for visit to troops

November 12, 2012

EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — The U.S. Embassy in Cairo says a top Pentagon official is in Egypt's restive northern Sinai region for briefings with U.S. troops stationed there.

Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Derek Chollet arrived Monday, less than a week after the deputy commander of the U.S. Central Command met troops who are part of the 12-nation Multinational Force and Observers mission in the Sinai Peninsula, which borders the Palestinian Gaza Strip and Israel.

The American contingent is the largest of the 1,650-strong MFO mission in Sinai, which is part of the peace treaty signed by Egypt and Israel in 1979.

Republican Rep. Steve Pearce of New Mexico was also in Sinai for Veterans Day weekend, meeting New Mexican National Guard troops preparing to leave after nine months stationed there.