US President Donald Trump and his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, hold a meeting, despite protests censuring his visit to the United States.
Trump unconventionally praised the Egyptian president, who has been accused of violating human rights in the North African country.
“It’s great to be with the president of Egypt and I will tell you President al-Sisi has been somebody that has been very close to me from the first time I met him. I met during the campaign and at that point there were two of us and we both met and hopefully you liked me a lot more. But it was very long, it was supposed to be just a quick brief meeting but we were with each other for a long period of time, we agreed on so many things,” Trump said at the meeting in the Oval Office of the White House on Tuesday.
“I just want to say to you Mr. President that you have a great friend and an ally in the United States and in me,” the businessman-turned-president told Sisi.
Meanwhile, Trump’s disregard for Sisi’s violation of human rights and crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood outraged protesters, calling the former Egyptian army chief “murderer” and “war criminal” on the street.
This is the first time that Sisi in traveling to the US after Trump’s election last November. It is also the first visit since he himself became the president in 2014.
Egypt’s first democratically-elected president was sentenced to death in June 2015 on charges of participating in prison breaks and violence against policemen during the 2011 uprising that toppled former dictator Hosni Mubarak.
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