President Donald Trump recently welcomed Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to the White House. Recognizing Egypt as one of the traditional pillars of stability in the Middle East and a reliable U.S. partner, President Trump said, “We are very much behind President al-Sisi. He's done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation. We are very much behind Egypt and the people of Egypt.”
During their meetings, President Trump reaffirmed the deep and abiding U.S. commitment to Egypt’s security, stability and prosperity. President al-Sisi has taken a number of bold steps on very sensitive issues since becoming president in 2014. He has called for reform and moderation of Islamic discourse, initiated courageous and historic economic reforms, and sought to reestablish Egypt’s regional leadership role.
President al-Sisi has also led Egypt’s campaign to defeat a long-running terrorist threat in the Sinai. The United States seeks to support President al-Sisi’s efforts in all of these areas.
The U.S.-Egypt relationship has historically been driven by security, and that will remain a key component of the engagement with Egypt, said a Senior White House official. The U.S. and Egyptian militaries have built close relationships, and many military officers from Egypt have trained at U.S. military installations.
The United States supports al-Sisi’s ambition to develop a comprehensive counterterrorism approach that involves military, political, economic, as well as social efforts. But President Trump also wants to increase the focus on economic and commercial cooperation in the bilateral relationship.
Building a more stable and productive economy is a critical step to ensuring long-term stability in Egypt. To this end, Egypt has begun a necessary economic reform plan that will strengthen the Egyptian economy if it is fully executed. There’s no question the transition in their economy will be difficult, but Egypt will be stronger if it follows through on its reform plan, said a senior administration official.
“We will fight terrorism. . .and we’re going to be friends for a long, long period of time,” said President Trump. “We have a great bond with the people of Egypt, and I look forward to working with” President al-Sisi.