Trump welcomes Egypt's Sisi in Washington

Apr 04, 2017, 00:43
Trump welcomes Egypt's Sisi in Washington

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is heading to Washington this weekend ahead of a Monday meeting with US President Donald Trump.

Sisi - through a translator - said that he has "a deep appreciation and admiration of [Trump's] unique personality" and that Trump has been "standing very strong.to counter this evil ideology". "He's done a fantastic job in a very hard situation".

"With the American companies, it's very important to send them messages that the government is very keen for more of their investments and we confirm that there are new legislation and regulations to be ratified in Parliament?" Egypt considers the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group.

The two first met in September at New York's Plaza Hotel, with the USA president calling el-Sissi "a fantastic guy" and proclaiming "good chemistry" in a meeting that boosted a struggling candidate short on foreign policy experience. Since stepping into office, el-Sisi jailed some 40,000 political prisoners including thousands of Muslim Brotherhood affiliates, shut down civil society organizations, and clamped down on the media. President Trump and President Al Sisi will use the visit to build on the positive momentum they have built for the United States-Egypt relationship.

"He wants to use President Sisi's visit to reboot the bilateral relationship and build on the strong connection the two presidents established when they first met in NY last September", the official said, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity.

The Egyptian leader, Hanna said, has steadily earned worldwide respectability in large part due to a key Western shift in the perception of Egypt and the rest of the Middle East - emphasizing stability over human rights or democratic reform. El-Sisi met both Trump and his Democratic political rival Hillary Clinton that month during the U.N. General Assembly meeting in NY.

The two nations share many common interests, and the two governments agree on many things and disagree on others; this is natural in most partnerships, and is true of other American partnerships in the region, such as those with Israel, Saudi Arabia or Turkey.

The White House confirmed that alleged human rights violations would be addressed in the meetings, but done in a "private, more discreet way" compared with Mr Obama's approach.

"You have a great friend and ally in the United States and in me", Trump told Sisi, sweeping aside his predecessor Barack Obama's concerns about the Sisi government's purge of political opponents and rights activists.

El-Sisi will most probably find that Trump "will not bother Egypt on human rights and democratization issues", Hani Sabra, head of the Eurasia Group's Middle East and North Africa practice, wrote in a report.

Egypt is waging its own war on terror in the Sinai peninsula, where it is battling extremist militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (meaning Supporters of Jerusalem) since 2011.

He broke with decades of U.S. policy during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in February when he declared that he was not bound to a two-state solution, meaning an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

A senior White House official confirmed the topic was likely to be discussed in Monday's meeting. "Neither side in this relationship seems interested in promoting human rights, but the gross abuses being committed by Egyptian authorities should compel Congress to keep limiting support". In other words, this meeting will be also a key to Trump's effort to bolster ties with Arab allies in the fight against Islamists across the Middle East. Granting el-Sissi a White House visit, she added, is "huge leverage".

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