President Donald Trump warmly welcomed his Egyptian counterpart to the White House on Monday in a visit that's meant to signal a shift in the US approach to Egypt, but could leave both Trump and President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi disappointed.
Trump emphasized Washington's support for Cairo.
"We are very much behind Egypt and the people of Egypt," Trump said, speaking in the Oval Office with Sisi at his side. "I look forward to a very long and strong relationship."
Both leaders are looking to use the first visit by an Egyptian leader to the White House in seven years to make a point. Trump is looking to appear statesmanlike and focus ties on building a partnership for his top foreign policy priority of fighting terrorism. Like Sisi, Trump is also looking to move past the chill in US-Egypt relations during the Obama administration and demonstrate a warm partnership.
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Sisi, a former general and the kind of strongman leader Trump admires, wants more than just goodwill, though. He is coming to the White House in hopes of getting the US to reinstate or perhaps boost levels of aid, according to experts and officials. But the Egyptian leader may be let down, as the Trump administration has made clear that, outside of Israel, it will sharply cut foreign aid.
President Donald Trump welcomes Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi during his arrival at the West Wing of the White House on April 3, 2017 in Washington, DC.
El-Sisi visit seems to reestablish the relationship with USA that was believed to be “not-that-much” strong during Obama’s era due to military financial assistance cut, which the U.S. used to do that on a regular basis, especially during the toppled Hosni Mubarak regime.