Trump meets Egypt's president to talk ISIS, foreign aid

Making his first official visit to Washington since taking office in 2014, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's meeting this week with U.S. President Donald Trump would be a significant step in the worldwide rehabilitation of the general-turned-politician who was kept out of the Obama White House.

In Trump, el-Sissi sees new opportunity after years of lukewarm relations with President Barack Obama.

Image: Abdel Fattah el-Sisi meeting with Vladimir Putin. The White House anticipates aid to Egypt will continue but provided no details on Friday.

The Sisi government is "the most repressive in Egypt's contemporary history", Trager noted, with tens of thousands of Egyptians in prison right now, significant police brutality and suffocating restrictions on media and non-governmental organizations.

"There is an American-Western position on the necessity to compromise with Egypt as the only country in the region that is fighting terrorism on its own, without relying on foreign parties", said Tarek Fahmy, a political science professor at Cairo University. The country is also facing severe economic conditions as it attempts to implement austerity policies demanded by the International Monetary Fund for a loan and it is trying also to reduce subsidies. Trump also spoke of his "chemistry" with Sisi after meeting with him last September in NY.

Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi is to visit the White House for the first time since he led the military's overthrow of his predecessor in 2013. He was elected president a year later but has ruled with an iron grip.

Having good relations with the Palestinian National Authority and maintaining a 38-year-old US -brokered peace treaty with Israel, Egypt is seen by the West as a key player that could play a real effective role in any future settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The White House has promised to maintain a "strong and sufficient" level of support, but recently proposed drastic cuts to its worldwide aid budget.

But Brexit, the shuttering of Europe's borders and the rise of Donald Trump have proven the West is no longer willing to use its power trying to improve global human rights.

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President Donald Trump will come face-to-face with the leaders of two nations accused of grave human rights abuses in a spate of high-level talks with foreign counterparts this week.

A senior Trump administration official briefed reporters that human rights concerns would be raised at Monday's meeting, but that it would be handled in a "private, more discreet way".

"We agree on so many things".

Rights groups have called for the release of Aya Hijazi, an Egyptian-American who works with street children and was arrested in May 2014 on human trafficking charges. "I just want to let everybody know, in case there was any doubt, that we are very much behind President el-Sisi", Trump said. Egypt would prefer that the United States was more involved in the search for a political settlement unifying Libya's rival administrations, thus paving the way for crushing militant groups operating there.

A senior White house official said on Friday that Trump "wants to use President Sisi's visit to reboot the bilateral relationship and build on the strong connection the two presidents established when they first met in NY last September".

Making his first official visit to Washington, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's meeting this week with U.S. President Donald Trump would be a significant step in the worldwide rehabilitation of the general-turned-politician who was kept out of the Obama White House.

According to Freedom First, a nonpartisan Human Rights campaign, seven USA citizens are now imprisoned in Egypt.

El-Sissi's visit comes days after the Trump administration agreed to resume arms sales to Bahrain, removing human-rights conditions imposed by Obama. We have a great bond with the people of Egypt. Security forces arbitrarily detained many under accusations that they were members or sympathizers of the Muslim Brotherhood, the movement to which Morsy belonged. "There isn't any kind of fellow feeling with other Muslim governments".

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