Saturday, April 1, 2017 10:41 am
President Donald Trump will seek to rebuild the US’ relationship with Egypt at a Monday meeting with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi focused on security issues and military aid, a senior White House official said on Friday.
“He 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 New York last September”, the official told reporters.
Egypt has long been one of Washington’s closest allies in the Middle East, receiving 1.3 billion dollars in US military aid each year.
But the bilateral relationship was strained when former president Barack Obama criticised Sisi for cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s oldest Islamist group.
Obama temporarily halted aid to the country after then general Sisi in mid-2013 overthrew President Mohamed Mursi after mass protests against his rule.
Mursi, a Muslim Brotherhood member, had been elected the previous year.
The Trump administration intends to address human rights concerns in a different fashion, the White House official said.
“Our approach is to handle these types of sensitive issues in a a private, more discreet way.
We believe it’s the most effective way to advance those issues to a favorable outcome”, he said.