Trump praises Egyptian leader during White House meeting

World Today

U.S. President Donald Trump has pressed the reset button with the Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who was greeted warmly at the White House.

It’s the first such visit by an Egyptian leader in eight years.

CGTN’S Daniel Ryntjes reports.
Follow Daniel Ryntjes on Twitter @danielryntjes

Trump praises Egyptian leader during White House meeting

U.S. President Donald Trump has pressed the reset button with the Egyptian President. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was greeted warmly at the White House. It's the first such visit by an Egyptian leader in eight years. CGTN’S Daniel Ryntjes gives us this report on the meeting.

Frayed by years of political upheaval in Cairo, the U.S.-Egypt relationship is now officially in repair mode. Donald Trump emphasized mutual security interests during talks with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

“We agree on so many things, I just want to let everybody know, in case there was any doubt, that we are very much behind President al-Sisi, he has done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation” the U.S. President said.

Outside the White House, protesters called attention to Egypt’s recent record of suppressing political opposition following the 2013 overthrow of the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi, which brought al-Sisi to power. For two years, former U.S. President Barack Obama distanced himself from al-Sisi and suspended the $1.3 billion military aid budget to Egypt.

It’s been eight years since the last visit to the White House by an Egyptian leader. “Your excellency, since we met last September, I’ve had a deep appreciation and admiration of your unique personality, especially as you are standing very strong in the counter-terrorism field,” Egypt’s leader in the Oval Office said.

Al-Sisi is looking for closer business and investment ties and continued U.S. military and civilian aid at a time of economic turbulence in Egypt where inflation has hit over 30 percent following a painful currency devaluation.

He’s also hoping to influence Trump’s relationship with Israel over the treatment of the Palestinians during a period of assertive Jewish nationalism under Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

But U.S. President Trump is hoping this pragmatic friendship will yield closer cooperation on military and intelligence as it relates to efforts to counter ISIL and other militant groups in North Africa and the Middle East.