After a meeting in Saudi Arabia, Donald Trump praised Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt again during his first overseas trip, saying “safety seems to be very strong” and accepted the invitation to visit Cairo.
Trump claimed he was having “very, very important talks”with al-Sisi, and that the pair had been talking “positively”.
We’ve really been through a lot together positively,” said Trump, who is on his first foreign visit since taking office.
“I will get to Egypt. We will absolutely be putting that on the list very soon,” he said. Sisi had “done a tremendous job under trying circumstance”.
In return, al-Sisi described Trump as “a unique personality that is capable of doing the impossible.”
Trump reportedly smiled and said, “I agree.”
He was also overheard to compliment the leader’s shoes.
Trump and al-Sisi’s meeting comes shortly after Abdel Fattah al-Sisi flew to Washington DC to visit Trump to improve relations between the two countries, and Trump said he was “very much behind”.
The US provides $1.3 billion every year in military aid to Egypt but relations had been strained under former President Barack Obama and al-Sisi was not invited to the White House during his two terms.
Al-Sisi has launched one of the toughest crackdown in Egypt’s modern history.
Since toppling President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected President by a military coup in 2013, the Egyptian authorities have launched massive crackdown on political opposition, human rights activists, lawyers and journalists.
According to Human Rights Watch, tens of thousands of political dissidents and human rights activists remain in Egyptian jails due to the Al-Sisi’s policies.
Egypt declared a three-month state of emergency last month after two ISIS church bombings killed 45 people.
U.S. and Egypt soared under the former administration of Barack Obama, which admonished Cairo for its rights abuses following the military coup in 2013.
In 2013,U.S. suspended military aid to Egypt before resuming it two years later, but Obama never extended an invitation to the Egypt’s military dictator after he assumed office in 2014 amid continued human rights violations.
Moreover, during Obama administration, “The State Department’s human rights report accuses Sisi’s government of stifling basic freedoms and enforcing its repression through torture, the disappearances of critics, and arbitrary arrests and killings.”
However, a dramatic shift has occurred under Trump administration with his flattery words to Egypt’s military dictator during his visit to Washington last month.
During Al-Sisi’s visit last month, Trump said,”You have a great friend and ally in the United States and in me.”
Trump also said as he sat beside al-Sisi in the Oval Office,”We agree on so many things.”
He added, “I just want to let everybody know in case there was any doubt that we are very much behind al-Sisi. He’s done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation. We are very much behind Egypt and the people of Egypt. The United States has, believe me, backing, and we have strong backing.”
After all, Trump words”safety seems to be very strong”concluded Trump’s vision to Al-Sisi and his repressive policies as it seems that the Trump sees the Middle East more safety under authoritarian leaders.
It well known that Trump opposes the attempts of change in the region known as “The Arab Spring”, tends to support stability, and is against any radical changes in the region. In addition, Trump views war on terrorism as a top priority for US foreign policy.
Brookings institution had previously stated in an article titled “Trump’s Misdiagnosis of the Jihadists Threats|” that Trump policy in the Middle East will differ from former US presidents who had a different diagnosis and thus different treatment.
“Presidents Bush and Obama believed that the lack of good governance and political freedom were the root cause of jihadism, not religion. As a result, Bush and Obama pushed for political reform in the Arab world,”said Brookings.
However, “Trump and his closest national security advisers want unconditional support for Muslim autocrats who have vowed to reform Islam to stop the violence. At the top of the list are Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in Egypt and King Abdullah in Jordan, who have both said religious reform is a necessary prelude to defeating jihadism,” according to Brooking.