Sisi and Trump discuss Middle East in phone call

Wed, Jan. 2, 2019
CAIRO – 2 January 2019: Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al Sisi discussed with his American counterpart, the latest developments in the Middle East, and the possible efforts to regain stability in the region, in a phone call on Tuesday night. Both leader discussed the aim of finding political compromises for current regional crises such as in Yemen, Syria and Libya, a spokesman for the Egyptian presidency said. American President praised Egypt’s political efforts to pacify the situation in the heated region of the Middle East. Sisi’s last meeting with Trump was held in September 2018, on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 73). It’s the fourth time for Sisi to meet with Trump since he came to power. During this meeting, Trump welcomed the Egyptian president, saying "It’s great honor to be with President Sisi, our great friend of Egypt." "We have very special things happening, as our relationship has never been stronger. We’re working with Egypt on many different fronts, including military, trade, and whatever else we can work on. It’s an honor to be with you again," Trump said. Sisi expressed his pleasure to meet Trump, saying "Being here and having this meeting really states the magnitude of Egyptian and American relationship." "I commend you for all the accomplishments that have been achieved in the United States within less than two years," Sisi said. He added that Egypt has "a long stable relationship {with the U.S.} for 40 years now, and during President Trump’s rule, Egypt has received more support." Trump also congratulated the Egyptian president for "the outstanding job with respect to terrorism, saying "you’re working very hard on that. It’s not easy. You’re at the forefront but you’ve done an outstanding job." Sisi asserted that Egypt "will be able to eliminate terrorism" with the help of the United States. He pointed out that fighting terrorism "has been an obligation that {Trump} made very clear since taking office and during presidential campaign," stressing that Egypt "supports you in this." Trump noted that the U.S. "has done very well" in combating terrorism in the Middle East, pointing out that they "whipped out ISIS in Syria." "You’ve been very outstanding and we’ll work with you," Trump said to Sisi. Sisi’s first meeting with Trump was held on September 20, 2016, during Trump’s presidential campaign in New York, also on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly then, Egypt Today reported. In April 2017, President Trump welcomed Sisi to the White House for the first time in eight years, pledging close cooperation with the Egyptian leader on counterterrorism operations and praising his leadership of the Middle Eastern nation. “I just want to let everybody know, in case there was any doubt, that we are very much behind President al-Sissi,” Trump said, sitting next to his counterpart in the Oval Office. “He’s done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation. We are very much behind Egypt and the people of Egypt. . . . We have strong backing,” he added. Trump and Sisi appeared focused on security, and they sought to demonstrate warmth, shaking hands during their brief remarks to reporters. “Since we met last September I have had a deep appreciation and admiration of your {Trump’s} unique personality, especially since you are standing so strong against terrorism,” said Sisi. “Very strongly and openly you will find Egypt beside you,” he added. During the Arab Islamic American Summit held last May, President Sisi met with his American counterpart for the third time. He also met with several American officials as part of his agenda in Riyadh. Trump praised the Egyptian President during his first overseas trip, saying “safety seems to be very strong” under the Egyptian leader and accepted the invitation to visit Cairo. President Trump made the remarks after he signed a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia. Trump said he was having “very, very important talks” with President Sisi, and that the pair had been talking “positively”. After the meeting, Sisi described the US president as “a unique personality that is capable of doing the impossible”. In September 2017, Sisi flew to New York to participate in the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 72). On the sidelines of the UNGA, President Sisi met Trump and discussed Egypt's efforts to achieve inter-Palestinian reconciliation as an essential preliminary step to resume negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides. Trump praised Egyptian President’s efforts in reviving the Middle East peace process between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples. President Sisi expressed Egypt’s aspiration for further coordination and consultation with the U.S. on various issues in the region, particularly that of counterterrorism, “which poses a great threat to the stability of the region and the world.” He also emphasized that putting an end to funding and harboring terrorists is a must. The U.S. President hailed the distinguished bilateral relations with Egypt, stressing the importance of promoting ways of enhancing them. Egypt is a key player in fighting terrorism globally and boosting peace through its 30,000 soldiers’ participation in UN peacekeeping missions, along with Egypt’s efforts to solve Syrian, Palestinian, Yemeni and Libyan crises.