WASHINGTON - The White House announced on Tuesday that U.S. President Donald Trump will meet on April 3 with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, making him the second Arab head of state to meet Trump since his inauguration and the first to be received at the White House.
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A statement by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that "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. They will discuss a range of bilateral and regional issues, including how to defeat ISIS and pursue peace and stability in the region."
While Sissi has been leading Egypt since 2013 (and has officially been the country's president since 2014,) the visit next week will be his first to the White House. The Obama administration was critical of the Egyptian military's takeover in 2013 that brought Sissi to power, and of policies toward former Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, who has been jailed.
Unlike Obama, Trump has warmly embraced Sissi: the two met in September 2016 at the height of the presidential election, and Sissi was the first world leader to call Trump on the night he won the election. The only time Obama met the Egyptian leader was on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly gathering in New York in 2014.