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Egypt's Sisi to meet Trump on April 3

Trump has shown more willingness to engage with Sisi [AFP]

Date of publication: 29 March, 2017

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The White House has announced that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi would make an "official visit" to Washington on 3 April to "discuss a range of bilateral and regional issues".

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will make an "official visit" to Washington on 3 April, the White House announced on Tuesday.

"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," it said in a statement.

"They will discuss a range of bilateral and regional issues, including how to defeat ISIS and pursue peace and stability in the region," it added, referring to the Islamic State militant group that the US, leading an international coalition, is fighting in Syria and Iraq.

Sisi's visit to Washington would be the first to the White House since the former army chief became president in 2014.

His relations with former president Barack Obama's administration were strained by Sisi's role in ousting then-president Mohamed Morsi.

In response, the US had briefly suspended $1.3 billion in military aid, which was fully reinstated in 2015.

From the outset, Trump has shown more willingness to engage the former general, despite repeated reports of human rights violations under his rule.

They met in September during the Egyptian leader's visit to New York to ‎attend UN General Assembly.

Sisi was reportedly the first to call Trump to offer his congratulations on his November election win.

"The US President-elect Donald Trump expressed his utmost appreciation to the president, pointing out that his was the first international call he had received to congratulate him on winning the election," the presidency said in a statement at the time.

Sisi has painted himself as a regional leader in the fight against Islamic militancy – a stance that echoes Trump's priorities but is also keen to forge new alliances with Egypt racked by domestic economic woes and sparking civil unrest.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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