US President Donald Trump (L) greets his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 3, 2017 AFP
Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has concluded his first official visit to the US as a head of state, returning to Cairo on Friday, the president’s office said.
In an official statement on Friday, the presidency announced the president’s return after a five-day visit, during which El-Sisi met his US counterpart Donald Trump and other top US officials.
On Thursday, El-Sisi received the chairman of Senate Committee of Armed Services John McCain and the head of the Senate’s committee of appropriations Lindsay Graham, to whom he expressed Egypt’s keenness to develop strong strategic bilateral relations with the US.
El-Sisi also expressed hopes that his visit would reflect positively on the future of Egypt-US relations, stressing his commitment to continued coordination with congress leaders to keep the US appraised of Egypt's efforts on counterterrorism and economic reform.
Both US officials praised the “fruitful” meeting El-Sisi had with Trump, expressing their appreciation for the pivotal role that Egypt plays in the Middle East.
El-Sisi met with Trump at the White House on Monday in the first formal visit to Washington by an Egyptian head of state since Hosni Mubarak met Barack Obama in 2010.
Rhetoric from both sides since Trump's election in November has been warm, in contrast with relations under the Obama administration, which grew strained after the ouster of Egypt's Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
Trump said this week that he was "very much behind" El-Sisi, who he said has a “great friend and ally in the United States.”
During the visit, the Egyptian President met with several other prominent US Congressmen and Senators, including Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan, with whom he discussed regional conflicts. El-Sisi also met with Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats to discuss means of boosting cooperation.
The president, accompanied by economics officials in the Egyptian government, also met with World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde in two meetings for discussions on Egypt’s ongoing economic reform programme.