U.S. President Donald Trump and Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi - courtesy/ Mohamed Ezat U.S. President Donald Trump and Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi - courtesy/ Mohamed Ezat

Sisi to meet Trump for fifth time in 2 years

Mon, Sep. 24, 2018
CAIRO – 24 September 2018: Once more, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi will meet with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in New York, which is considered their fifth encounter within only 24 months.

On the sidelines of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 73), the two leaders will set together to discuss the current political situation in the Middle East, the Arab-Qatari dispute, and other issues of mutual interest to both countries.

Egypt is one of Washington’s closest allies in the Middle East, receiving US$1.3 billion in US military aid annually.

Sisi’s first meeting with Trump was held on September 20, 2016, during Trump’s presidential campaign in New York, also on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly then.

In an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett, Sisi said he had “no doubt” that Republican presidential nominee Trump would make a strong leader. Burnett asked Sisi about Trump’s possible plan to ban Muslims from certain countries from entering the U.S. if elected!

“The United States in general conducts very strict security measures for everyone who wishes to visit it, which has been in place for quite a few years,” Sisi said. “It’s also important to know that during election campaigns many statements are made and many things are said, however afterwards governing the country would be something different. And will be subject to many factors.”

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In April 2017, President Trump welcomed Sisi to the White House for the first time in eight years, pledging close cooperation with the Egyptian leader on counterterrorism operations and praising his leadership of the Middle Eastern nation.

“I just want to let everybody know, in case there was any doubt, that we are very much behind President al-Sissi,” Trump said, sitting next to his counterpart in the Oval Office.

“He’s done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation. We are very much behind Egypt and the people of Egypt. . . . We have strong backing,” he added.

Trump and Sisi appeared focused on security, and they sought to demonstrate warmth, shaking hands during their brief remarks to reporters.

This meeting represented an end to the coldness with which Egypt was treated by former U.S. President Barack Obama, who never invited Sisi to Washington.

“Since we met last September I have had a deep appreciation and admiration of your {Trump’s} unique personality, especially since you are standing so strong against terrorism,” said Sisi.

“Very strongly and openly you will find Egypt beside you,” he added.

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During the Arab Islamic American Summit held last May, President Sisi met with his American counterpart for the third time. He also met with several American officials as part of his agenda in Riyadh.

Trump praised the Egyptian President during his first overseas trip, saying “safety seems to be very strong” under the Egyptian leader and accepted the invitation to visit Cairo.

President Trump made the remarks after he signed a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia. Trump said he was having “very, very important talks” with President Sisi, and that the pair had been talking “positively”.

After the meeting, Sisi described the US president as “a unique personality that is capable of doing the impossible”.

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In September 2017, Sisi flew to New York to participate in the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 72). On the sidelines of the UNGA, President Sisi met Trump and discussed Egypt's efforts to achieve inter-Palestinian reconciliation as an essential preliminary step to resume negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides.

Trump praised Egyptian President’s efforts in reviving the Middle East peace process between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples.

President Sisi expressed Egypt’s aspiration for further coordination and consultation with the U.S. on various issues in the region, particularly that of counterterrorism, “which poses a great threat to the stability of the region and the world.” He also emphasized that putting an end to funding and harboring terrorists is a must.

The U.S. President hailed the distinguished bilateral relations with Egypt, stressing the importance of promoting ways of enhancing them.

Sisi’s participation in the UNGA this year is considered his fifth since his first presidential term started in June 2014. Egypt’s foreign policies have witnessed significant development seen in the global and regional arenas. Egypt is a key player in fighting terrorism globally and boosting peace through its 30,000 soldiers’ participation in UN peacekeeping missions, along with Egypt’s efforts to solve Syrian, Palestinian, Yemeni and Libyan crises.

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