President Donald Trump would like to welcome the autocratic Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to the White House next month to discuss their nations strategic partnership and shared priorities in the Middle East, the White House said Friday.
The two leaders convene April 9 for negotiations on how to build the "robust military, economic and counter-terrorist cooperation" between the United States and Egypt, a statement by the White House press secretary's office said.
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"The two leaders will also discuss the development and common priorities of the region, including increased regional economic non-gratification and addressing of ongoing conflicts and Egypt's long-standing role as a lynchpin of regional stability, the White House said.
Trump's relationship with Sisi since the office's adoption consisted of public exchange of praise with the Egyptian leader, a controversial figure, who was less popular with Trump's predecessors for his authoritarian regime installed after a bloody coup day in 2013 that removed President Mohamed Morsi from the power.
The US President has embraced Sisi as an ally to support American interests abroad, especially in his fight against terrorism in the Middle East. The president occasionally lets the Egyptian leader from his social media account, by tweeting in January, he was thrilled to see Sisi move his country "to a more inclusive future."
The friendly exchanges have drawn criticism, especially from activists who say Sisi's regime is even more oppressive than Egypt's former dictator, Hosni Mubarak, who was supported by the United States until he became nervous during the 2011 revolutions "Arab Spring ". Sisi has imprisoned tens of thousands of political prisoners and clung to freedom of speech.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he discussed the need for Sisis government to improve human rights when the couple met in January, but critics accused the United States of America
Sisi's upcoming visit comes just a few weeks after Trump declared that the United States would formally recognize Israel's sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights, a statement made in connection with increasing tensions between the US Allies and the Palestinians in Gaza after a rocket fired Monday injured seven Israelis.
Last year, Sisi visited the White House in April 2017, when Trump praised the Egyptian leader for "doing a great job" and said the US was "very behind" him.