Egypt's Sisi to arrive in Washington Saturday, meet Trump Monday

Ahram Online , Friday 31 Mar 2017

Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi
File Photo: Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (Reuters)

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is scheduled to arrive in Washington on Saturday for a five-day visit which will include talks with President Donald Trump.

State news agency MENA reported that El-Sisi will meet Jim Yong Kim, the head of the World Bank Group, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and US Secretary of Defence James Mattis on Sunday. The president will also participate in a roundtable with heads of American corporations investing in Egypt, or intending to in the future.

A meeting with Trump is set for Monday, according to an announcement from the White House last week.

The meeting will deal with a range of bilateral and regional topics, including fighting the Islamic State militant group, pursuing peace and stability in the region, and enhancing bilateral military, economic, security and political relations.

The Palestinian issue is high on the agenda, El-Sisi announced during his meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas earlier this month.

Fighting terrorism will also be prioritised in the meeting, MENA reported, as well as discussing regional crises such as the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen.

El-Sisi will express the Egyptian vision of political settlements to ensure the unity, stability and sovereignty of these countries, MENA reported.

Rhetoric from both sides since Trump's election in November has been warm, in contrast with relations under the administration of Barack Obama, which grew strained after the ouster of Egypt's Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

The Egyptian president was the first Arab leader to congratulate Trump on the phone after he was elected on 9 November, inviting him to visit Cairo.

In January, Trump said during a phone call with El-Sisi that his administration is committed to maintaining annual US military aid to Egypt, praising El-Sisi's efforts in the war against terrorism and extremism. 

This is the first official visit by an Egyptian president to the White House since 2010, when Hosni Mubarak met with Barack Obama.

El-Sisi later met with then-president Barack Obama on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York in 2014.

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