US President Donald Trump moved to reset US relations with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Monday April 03,2017 after the prior Obama administration's strained ties, giving him firm backing and vowing to work together to fight Islamist militants
A joint statement said the two leaders agreed on the importance of advancing peace throughout West Asia, including in Libya, Syria, and Yemen, and expressed interest in supporting Israel and the Palestinians in moving towards peace.
“I just want to let everybody know in case there was any doubt that we are very much behind President Sisi. He has done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation. We are very much behind Egypt and the people of Egypt,” Trump said in an Oval Office meeting with the Egyptian leader.
The trip was Sisi's first official US visit since being elected president in 2014. Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, never extended an invitation.
Obama froze aid to Egypt for two years after Sisi, then a general, overthrew President Mohamed Mursi in mid-2013 after mass protests against Mursi's rule. Mursi, a Muslim Brotherhood member, had been elected the previous year.
The one-on-one meeting between Trump and Sisi, followed by a separate gathering with top aides, showed how intent the new US president is on rebooting the bilateral relationship and building on the strong connection the two presidents established when they first met in New York last September.
“I just want to say to you, Mr President, that you have a great friend and ally in the United States, and in me,” Trump said.
Sisi said he appreciated that Trump has been standing very strong ... to counter this evil ideology.
The joint statement said Trump and Sisi agreed that Islamist militants could not be defeated solely by military force. It said the leaders “agreed on the necessity of recognizing the peaceful nature of Islam and Muslims around the world''.