Trump seeks to rebuild ties with Egypt

Trump will seek to rebuild relations with Egypt during upcoming meeting with Sisi.

Ben Ariel, Canada,

Donald Trump
Donald Trump
Reuters

President Donald Trump will seek to rebuild the United States’ relationship with Egypt when he meets Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi this coming Monday, a senior White House official said on Friday, according to Reuters.

"He wants to use President Sisi's visit to reboot the bilateral relationship and build on the strong connection the two presidents established when they first met in New York last September," the official said, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity.

Egypt has long been one of Washington's closest allies in the Middle East, receiving $1.3 billion in U.S. military aid annually.

However, the bilateral relationship was strained during the tenure of former President Barack Obama.

In 2013, shortly after Sisi and the Egyptian army ousted then-Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, Obama suspended American military aid to Egypt. He released the aid two years later.

American law forbids sending aid to countries where a democratic government was deposed by a military coup, though Washington has never qualified Morsi’s ouster as a "coup" and had been cautious about doing so, choosing only to condemn the violence in the country.

Trump's relationship with Sisi got off to a good start when they met last September in New York while Trump was running for president, the White House said.

After Trump’s election, Sisi praised the new president and said he expected greater engagement in the Middle East from his administration.

The two leaders, in a January 23 phone call just days after Trump's inauguration, discussed ways to boost the fight against terrorism.

Trump supports Sisi's approach to counterterrorism, which includes both military and political efforts, his efforts to reform Egypt's economy, and Sisi's calls for "reform and moderation of Islamic discourse," the official said, according to Reuters.

Asked whether the United States would designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group, as Egypt has, the official said Trump was interested in hearing Sisi's views during the meeting.

"We, along with a number of countries, have some concerns about various activities that the Muslim Brotherhood has conducted in the region," the official said.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)




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