Abdel Fattah El-Sisi Leaves for US to Meet Donald Trump

President Donald Trump will seek to rebuild the US relationship with Egypt at a Monday meeting with Egyptian President Abdel al-Sisi.

Egypt has always been one of Washington's closest allies in the Middle East, receiving $1.3 billion in United States military aid annually.

Trump and Sisi first met in NY back in September, and apparently got on quite well.

Al-Sisi said that when he met Trump in September, while he was a presidential candidate, he knew that he was meeting an extraordinary character, especially when it came to Trump's vision on combating terrorism.

Mohamed Morsi's ouster, a year after he had won Egypt's first democratic election, and the ensuing crackdown on Islamists prompted then USA president Barack Obama to suspend military aid to Cairo temporarily.

The organization also welcomes the bipartisan Egypt resolution to be introduced Monday in the Senate that offers continuing US support to Egypt in its efforts "to confront legitimate threats", while also calling on Egypt's leaders to "take steps towards meaningful political and human rights reforms". Egypt is a key US ally in the Arab world and a partner with the U.S.in fighting the Islamic State.

Cairo has demanded Western countries take a tougher stance against Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement, Egypt's oldest and largest Islamist political party.

American aid was frozen in 2013 when Mr El Sisi, then the military chief, seized power during mass protests against the rule of Mohamed Morsi.

"As a matter of fact President-elect Trump has shown deep and great understanding of what is taking place in the region as a whole and what is taking place in Egypt", Sisi, who met Trump in September before his election, said in an interview. Aides said human rights remain a top concern for the White House, but Trump plans to "handle these types of sensitive issues in a private, more discreet way".

However, the decision not to publicly criticise Egypt's human rights record provoked concern among campaigners in the USA who fear not enough is being done to tackle the root causes of terrorism.

"And we believe it's the most effective way to advance those issues to a favourable outcome". A verdict was set to be read in a March 23 court session, but was postponed with no reason stated by the judge until April 16.

"He's called for reform and moderation of Islamic discourse, initiated courageous and historic economic reforms, and sought to reestablish Egypt's regional leadership role", said a White House official. "We are going to address this with Egypt in a way that we think maximizes the chances her case will be resolved in a satisfactory way", the official said.

  • Larry Hoffman