In DC Visit, Egypt's El-Sissi To Test 'Chemistry' With Trump

Posted April 04, 2017

Cairo has demanded Western countries take a tougher stance against Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement, Egypt's oldest and largest Islamist political party.

They were appealing against an order issued by the country's general prosecutor following the designation of the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation in December 2013 in the aftermath of deadly attacks on security forces by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.

When the two met in September, they walked away praising one another, with Sisi saying Trump shows "deep and great understanding" of the region.

Al-Sisi said that when he met Trump in September, while he was a presidential candidate, he knew that he was meeting an extraordinary character, especially when it came to Trump's vision on combating terrorism. "We're not giving him any more money", said the USA official, who spoke on condition of anonymity before Sisi's meetings with Trump. "We are very much behind Egypt and the people of Egypt", Trump said in an Oval Office meeting with the Egyptian leader.

"Our approach is to handle these types of sensitive issues in a private, more discreet way", said a White House official.

"Our relationship has historically been driven by security and that will remain a key component of the engagement with Egypt".

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Sisi has "led Egypt's campaign to defeat a long-running terrorist threat in the Sinai", a USA administration official said during a briefing on Friday, refering to an "Islamic State" insurgency. The Trump administration can not turn a blind eye to Egypt's human rights crisis.

A senior White House official confirmed the topic was likely to be discussed in Monday's meeting.

When Sisi meets Trump on Monday during his first state visit to Washington, he will see a counterpart who better appreciates his "mission" to fight rebels and armed groups, without Obama's hand-wringing over human rights.

Egypt is one of two Arab countries that have a peace treaty with Israel and has traditionally played a central role in USA regional alliances.

Cairo also wants conventional equipment that Washington believes is not useful for a counter-insurgency campaign. "We're in the budget process right now and those discussions are ongoing as to how it will be broken out", the official told reporters.