Egyptian newspaper: Sisi to meet Trump in Washington next month – The Guardian

The Egyptian president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, will meet Donald Trump in Washington next month, Egypt’s leading state-owned newspaper said on Sunday.

Al-Ahram said in a front-page report the two leaders will meet during the first week of April, in what will be Sisi’s first visit to Washington since taking office in 2014.

Sisi and Trump have already shown a bond when they met in September on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Trump, at the time the Republican presidential nominee, said there was “good chemistry”. Sisi, a general-turned-politician, said Trump would “without a doubt” make a strong leader.

Cairo and Washington are expected to forge closer ties under Trump following years of tension over the Obama administration’s emphasis on human rights and Cairo’s perception that it supported the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

Sisi, as defense minister, led the military’s 2013 overthrow of the Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi following massive protests against the Islamist leader.

Morsi’s removal ushered in the start of a big crackdown on Islamists and secular pro-democracy activists in which thousands were jailed and hundreds killed in street clashes with police.

The crackdown was frequently criticized by the Obama administration, which suspended some aid and sought to distance itself from Sisi’s government. Obama never invited Sisi to the White House.

Egypt and the US have been close allies for most of the nearly 40 years since Cairo signed a peace treaty with Israel, with Egypt becoming the second largest recipient of US aid after Israel, with some $1.3bn annually in military aid.

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