Trump speaks to Sisi, affirms friendship

U.S. President calls Egyptian counterpart, says he's keen on developing the relationship between their countries.

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Elad Benari,

Sisi and Trump
Sisi and Trump
Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump called Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on Thursday and said he was keen on developing the relationship between their countries, and overcoming any obstacles that might affect it, Sisi's office said, according to Reuters.

"President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi received a phone call tonight from U.S. President Donald Trump who affirmed the strength of the friendship between Egypt and the United States and said expressed his keenness on continuing to develop the relationship and overcome any obstacles that might affect it," Sisi's office said in a statement quoted by the news agency.

The telephone call followed Washington's decision to deny Egypt $95.7 million in aid and to delay a further $195 million because it failed to make progress on respecting human rights and democracy.

On Wednesday, Egypt condemned the move and even cancelled a meeting between Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Trump's senior adviser, Jared Kushner. The meeting subsequently took place nevertheless.

Ties between the U.S. and Egypt were strained under former President Barack Obama but had appeared to improve after Trump took office.

In 2013, shortly after Sisi and the Egyptian army ousted 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.

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

In a recent interview with Fox News, Sisi hailed Trump and said he has a “true understanding” of the realities in the region when it comes to terrorism.








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