Egyptian leaders told visiting US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel that they are committed to their county’s international obligations, including the peace treaty with Israel, the US Embassy in Cairo said in a statement.

Hagel met with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and also with the country’s Minister of Defense Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi in talks Wednesday aimed at demonstrating a strong US commitment to a strategic partnership with Egypt. The meetings reviewed regional security challenges, including counterterrorism and Syria, and looked at ways to enhance the defense relationship and increase cooperation on shared security objectives, the embassy said.

The US secretary of defense also encouraged Egyptian leaders to move forward with political and economic reforms that are critical for Egypt’s stability and prosperity.

Hagel underscored Washington’s support for Egypt as it transitions to democracy and praised the Egyptian Armed Forces for their professionalism and discipline, and for the responsible role they played in protecting Egypt’s revolution and transitioning power to the elected civilian government, the statement said.

On Tuesday Hagel met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and afterwards spoke of how US and Israel need to ensure that their alliance is “closer than ever” as Middle East security challenges grow more complicated.