Trump and Sisi (archive)
Trump and Sisi (archive) Reuters

The White House said in a statement on Tuesday that President Donald Trump would host Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi next week.

“President Donald J. Trump looks forward to welcoming President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi of Egypt for an official visit to Washington on April 3,” said a statement from White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

According to the statement, Trump and Sisi “will use the visit to build on the positive momentum they have built for the United States-Egypt relationship.”

“They will discuss a range of bilateral and regional issues, including how to defeat ISIS and pursue peace and stability in the region,” it added.

Spicer’s statement is the first official confirmation of Sisi’s visit to Washington. An unnamed official in Washington said last week that the Egyptian President would visit the White House at Trump’s invitation.

The trip will be Sisi's first state visit to the United States since being elected president in 2014. Former President Barack Obama had never extended a formal invitation to Sisi.

Sisi had strained relations with the Obama administration. 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.

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.