Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, who is visiting Washington for the first meeting between presidents of the two countries in eight years, was met with praises by the American President Donald Trump for his leadership, AFP reports.
“I just want to let everybody know, in case there was any doubt, that we are very much behind President El-Sisi. He’s done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation. We are very much behind Egypt and the people of Egypt,” Trump said in an Oval Office meeting with the Egyptian president.
Trump told Sisi, “You have a great friend and ally in the United States and in me,” sweeping aside his predecessor Barack Obama’s concerns about Sisi’s purge of political opponents and rights activists
The two leaders sought to mend relations between their two countries strained by crackdowns, revolution and counter-revolution.
President Trump believes that Egypt can be a partner for the US in restarting the Middle East peace process and tackling Jihadist groups.
Trump and El-Sisi previously met in September when Trump’s campaign was still in full swing. Sisi was reportedly the first to call Trump to offer his congratulations on his November election win.
Trump and El-Sisi, meanwhile, have found common ground with their hard line on extremism, Al Ahram reports.
“You will find Egypt and myself always beside you in this, in bringing about an effective strategy in the counterterrorism,” El-Sisi told Trump.
El-Sisi is scheduled to meet with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Washington in the fourth day of his visit.