White House: Donald Trump to host Abdel Fatah El Sisi on April 9
Visit to White House will be Egyptian president's second since Trump took office
President Donald Trump will host Egyptian President Abdel Fatah El Sisi at the White House on April 9 for talks on strengthening their strategic partnership and working on shared priorities in the Middle East, the White House said on Friday.
The White House said the two leaders would discuss "building on our robust military, economic and counterterrorism co-operation" as well as regional economic integration and "Egypt’s longstanding role as a lynchpin of regional stability".
The visit by Mr El Sisi comes at a time of renewed tensions between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza after a rocket fired from the coastal enclave wounded seven Israelis near Tel Aviv.
Israel responded with air strikes and warnings from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel was prepared to wage a broad military campaign in Gaza if needed.
Egypt, which has a peace treaty with Israel and shares a border with Gaza with the only crossing not controlled by Israel, has played the role of peace broker between the Israelis and Palestinians. On Friday Egyptian mediators were working to defuse the latest tensions.
Mr Trump on Monday signed a decree recognising Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights, captured from Syria in the 1967 war. The decision, came as Israel gears up for elections on April 9, was criticised by Arab states including Egypt.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Golan decision would help resolve the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians by removing uncertainty. White House advisers Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt have been working to put together a peace proposal to address the conflict, but its details are not expected to be revealed until after the Israeli election.
Mr El Sisi last visited the White House in April 2017, three month after Mr Trump took office.
Updated: March 29, 2019 06:51 PM