Not only Israel: US brings Egypt closer

President Donald Trump welcoms Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to the White House, pledges support for Egypt.

Nitzan Keidar ,

Trump and Sisi at the Whit House
Trump and Sisi at the Whit House

US President Donald Trump hosted Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at the White House on Monday evening.

Former President Obama's relations with the Egyptians since al-Sisi's rise to power were considered lukewarm at best, after al-Sisi overthrew democratically elected Hosni Mubarak, a strong supporter of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood organization which spawned Hamas. Obama had made overtures to the vehemently anti-Israel Muslim Brotherhood and in order to punish al-Sisi, cancelled a large sum of aid to Egypt. In response, al-Sisi turned to Rusia.

Trump seems interested in opening a new page in US-Egypt relations, as has Israel.

"We agree on so many things," the American president said at the start of the meeting, adding, "I just want it to be clear that we stand 100 percent behind President al-Sisi, and he did a great job when his country suffered from difficult times."

"We support Egypt and its citizens, and our backing is worth a lot, you have important friends here in the US and I am one of them," Trump said to al-Sisi.

The presidents shook hands, and then the President of Egypt said, "This is my first visit since I took office several years ago, and I have a deep appreciation for President Trump, who is facing the evil," alluding to Iran.

"We're promoting our relationship here and are going to be good friends for a long time," Trump added.

Trump ignored journalists' questions about the designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.