Egypt's Sisi praises Donald Trump, expects more US engagement in Middle East

Saturday 19-11-2016 04:48 PM

Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a bi-lateral meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Manhattan, New York, U.S., September 19, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

CAIRO, Nov 19 (Aswat Masriya) - Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi praised US President-elect Donald Trump, saying people “shouldn’t jump into conclusions or worry” about future US actions in the Middle East.

Sisi, who is set to visit Portugal on Nov.21, told Portuguese news agency Lusa that he expects greater engagement from Trump's administration in the Middle East.

He downplayed Trump’s calls to ban Muslims from entering the US, saying that his provocative statements during the presidential campaign don’t necessarily reflect his actions as a president.

"We have to distinguish between the rhetoric that takes place within presidential campaigns and the real and actual administration of a country after the inauguration," Sisi told Portuguese news agency Lusa.

"There will be a chance for more thorough readings," he added.

Sisi was the first world leader to phone Donald Trump to congratulate him on his electoral win, in which the Egyptian president said he looks forward to strengthening Egypt-US ties on all fronts.

“Personally I respect and appreciate Trump. I believe that President-elect Trump will be more rigorously engaged with the issues of the region,” Sisi said.

In September, Sisi held a meeting with Trump, as well as Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, on the sidelines of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly. Sisi’s meeting with Trump centered on countering terrorism, underlining the importance of working together in "defeating radical Islam."

Trump praised the meeting, saying that there was “good chemistry” between them, adding that the meeting with Sisi was “productive.”

“As a matter of fact President-elect Trump has shown deep and great understanding of what is taking place in the region as a whole and what is taking place in Egypt,” Sisi said.

“That is why I am looking forward, and I am expecting more support and more reinforcement of our bilateral relations."

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