President Trump’s meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Monday resulted in his vowing to support Egypt’s government and to mutually work to defeat terrorism and violent extremist groups.
Trump praised the Egyptian leader during their Oval Office visit saying, “We agree on so many things. I just want to let everyone know, in case there was any doubt, that we are very much behind President el-Sisi,” He added, “He’s done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation.”
“We are very much behind Egypt and people of Egypt,” Trump continued. “You have a great friend and ally in the United States and in me.”
He also remarked that el-Sisi is “somebody that’s been very close to me from the first time I met him.”
Getting ready to meet President al-Sisi of Egypt. On behalf of the United States, I look forward to a long and wonderful relationship.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 3, 2017
El-Sisi replied via his translator: “I’ve had a deep appreciation and admiration of your unique personality, especially as you’re standing very strong in the counter-terrorism field.”
Trump also commented on his plans to significantly bolster the U.S. military as his administration continues to prioritize the fight against terrorist groups, saying, “We are rejuvenating our military to the highest level. … That’s what we need.”
In addition to counter-terrorism, the two presidents were also expected to discuss U.S. military aid to Egypt, designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group, and reviving the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
The visit between the two leaders reflects a renewed relationship between the United States and Egypt. Former President Obama declined to invite el-Sisi to visit him at the White House over his 8-year term. The Obama administration froze military aid to Egypt after a 2013 coup but reinstated it in 2015, says a report.
El-Sisi led the 2013 overthrow of Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, and ascended to the top of Egypt’s government. He was later mired in controversy over alleged widespread human rights abuses.
During a brief photo opportunity after their meeting, Trump declared, “We will fight terrorism and other things. We’re going to be friends for a long, long period of time. We have a great bond with the people of Egypt.”
The following video captures El-Sisi’s arrival to the White House.
H/T: The Hill
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