Abdel Fattah el-Sisi leaves for United States to meet Donald Trump

White House officials say that a planned Monday meeting with Egyptian ruler Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will mark the beginning of an attempt to "reboot" US-Egyptian relations with the military junta, saying Trump wants a "strong connection" with Sisi. "If President Trump fails to raise human rights concerns with President Sisi, he is by definition undermining the global struggle against terrorism and violent extremism". On Monday, President Donald Trump will roll out the red carpet for him.

Sisi left for Washington on April 1 and is scheduled to meet USA cabinet officials and lawmakers before visiting with Trump, his office said.

The American former reality television star and tycoon has made no secret of his admiration for the ex-army chief who overthrew his Islamist predecessor and cracked down on his supporters.

Ahead of Sisi's trip, five U.S. senators announced they would introduce a bipartisan resolution supporting Egypt, but demanding an end to a crackdown on civil society groups and the release of American-Egyptian Aya Hejazy.

The Trump administration official said the United States will approach rights issues in a "private, more discreet way".

Cairo is pleased by signals from Trump's administration and Congress that they may consider blacklisting Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement, a move which also has its critics in Washington.

The two are expected to focus their discussions around security matters and military aid.

Cairo has also mediated between Israel and the Palestinians.

Trump has been gushing about Sisi.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be among the topics discussed, officials said.

After meeting with the Egyptian leader, Trump will visit with King Abdullah of Jordan on April 5 at the White House. The Trump administration can not turn a blind eye to Egypt's human rights crisis. The country is fighting an Islamist insurgency in Sinai, and hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and police have been killed fighting insurgents.

  • Leroy Wright