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Trump, Egypt's Sisi look to improve relations, battle terrorism

President Donald J. Trump (left) greets Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in the White House on April 3.

Sisi - through a translator - said that he has "a deep appreciation and admiration of [Trump's] unique personality" and that Trump has been "standing very counter this evil ideology".

"He's done a fantastic job in a very hard situation", Trump said.

Yet terrorism is the pretext that Egypt's government has used to jail most of the journalists behind bars.

Eventually, with the chaos in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and South Sudan as well as growing terrorist operations of the regional Islamic State (IS) militant group and consequent influx of regional migrants to Western states, the West found it necessary to maintain good terms with Egypt as a key player in the turmoil-stricken region. The pronouncements during the early days of the administration that led Israelis to believe that they would have a "free hand" building in Yehudah and Shomron have turned out to be false impressions, the PA officials said, and they were optimistic that, especially after the visits of el-Sisi and Abdullah, the usa would also "adjust" its attitude on the understandings already arrived at with Israel.

Sisi left Cairo on Saturday for Washington where he is set to meet with Trump on Monday - the event will mark Sisi's first state visit to the U.S. since becoming president in 2014. "Sissi regards the Brotherhood as a terrorist group". President Trump and President Al Sisi will use the visit to build on the positive momentum they have built for the United States-Egypt relationship.

A senior White House official said Friday that Trump wants to "build on the strong connection the two presidents established" then.

In this March 2, 2017 Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, during a press conference, at the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, March 2, 2017.

When asked if Trump will address human rights issues with Sisi, one official said, "Our approach is to handle these types of sensitive issues in a private, more discreet way".

Trump and Sisi will hold a working lunch Monday afternoon in the State Dining Room of the White House after a bilateral meeting.

But in its actions and statements, Trump's administration has signaled that human rights violations won't be raised in the public forums that past US leaders have used to press for reforms. The increasingly complex relationship between the two countries made raising the human rights issue forcefully more complicated, aides to Obama said at the time.

El-Sisi's resting his hopes on Trump to maintain key US economic support and funding for his military, worth some $1.3 billion a year. This, in turn, will give a boost to el-Sisi internally because the administration of Obama was no friend of Egypt during a time of heightened crisis.

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Mr Sisi, who was elected president in May 2014, has also presided over severe restrictions on civil and political rights that have effectively erased the gains of the 2011 uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak, according to the US-based group. Some thought he meant the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while others imagined he meant terrorism. Mr Trump's proposed federal budget includes a $54bn increase for USA defence. "If President Trump fails to raise human rights concerns with President Sisi, he is by definition undermining the global struggle against terrorism and violent extremism".


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