Trump warmly welcomes Egypt’s president

Not once in the eight years of former US President Barack Obama’s leadership did an Egyptian president visit the White House.


And only months in to Donald Trump’s presidency, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been welcomed, with the US President declaring his strong support of his Egyptian counterpart’s leadership.

“I just want to let everybody know, in case there was any doubt, that we are very much behind President al-Sisi, he’s done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation. We are very much behind Egypt and the people of Egypt and the United States has, believe me, backing, and we have strong backing.”

It would appear the feelings are mutual, with President Sisi praising Mr Trump.

“Your Excellency since we met last September I’ve had a deep appreciation and admiration of your unique personality especially as you’re standing very strong in the counter-terrorism field to counter this evil ideology that is claiming innocent lives, that is bringing devastation to communities and nations and that is terrorising innocent people. Your Excellency, very strongly and very openly you will find Egypt and myself always beside you in this, bringing about an effective strategy in the counter-terrorism effort.”

The two presidents established a strong relationship when they first met in New York last September, during Mr Trump’s presidential campaign.

“I will tell you President al-Sisi has been someone who has been very close to me from the first time I met him, I met during the campaign and at that point there were two of us and we both met and hopefully you’ll like me a lot more.”

The latest one-on-one meeting signals a new era in the relationship between the two countries.

In 2013, then-US President Barack Obama briefly suspended military aid to Egypt after Mr Sisi, an army general at the time, led the overthrow of the country’s first freely-elected Islamist leader, Mohammed Morsi.

The relationship remained tense, with Barack Obama repeatedly criticising President Sisi’s human rights record.

But it would appear President Trump is seeking to strengthen his country’s ties to Egypt.

On a number of occasions, he’s spoken of the need for the US to forge a good relationship with Egypt.

And he’s reaffirmed this intention to President Sisi, urging cooperation to combat terrorism.

“We will fight terrorism and other things. We’re building up our military to a level that will be the highest, probably the highest, that we ever had – plane orders, ship orders, aircraft carrier orders – we are rejuvenating our military to the highest level, I think, in these times, probably more than ever before or certainly almost more than ever before.”