Trump meets Egyptian leader, says ties have never been stronger
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Trump meets Egyptian leader, says ties have never been stronger

US president congratulates Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi on his efforts to combat terrorism; also holds talks with France’s Macron

US President Donald Trump, right, meets with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi at the Lotte New York Palace hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, September 24, 2018, in New York. (Evan Vucci/AP)
US President Donald Trump, right, meets with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi at the Lotte New York Palace hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, September 24, 2018, in New York. (Evan Vucci/AP)

Egypt is doing an “outstanding job” in the war against terrorism, US President Donald Trump said Monday.

Trump told Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi that the fight is “not easy” but his country is “at the forefront.”

The leaders met while both were in New York to attend the UN General Assembly.

“We have very special things happening, our relationship has never been stronger, we are working with Egypt on many different fronts including military and trade,” Trump said.

“I want to congratulate you on doing an outstanding job on terrorism,” the US leader continued. “I know you are working very hard on that and it’s not easy. You are at the forefront but you’ve done an excellent job.”

Speaking of regional progress Trump added, “We’ve done very well.”

“If you look at Syria we’ve wiped out ISIS,” he said using an acronym for the Islamic State group.

Sissi replied that Egypt will be able to eliminate terrorism with Trump’s support.

Trump told Sissi, “We will work with you and we will go all the way.”

Trump also met French President Emmanuel Macron, saying the two men have had “some very good experiences,” though he acknowledged, “on occasion not so good, but 99 percent very good.”

Macron holds different views from Trump on dealing with Iran and its nuclear research program.

Earlier this month US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo authorized the release of $1.2 billion in US military assistance to Egypt, despite human rights concerns that have held up previous funding.

In July, Pompeo had lifted a hold on another $195 million that Congress had approved but which former secretary of state Rex Tillerson had frozen due to the continuing human rights issues.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch has described the situation in Egypt as the “worst human rights crisis in the country in decades.” Egyptian police, the group said, systematically use “torture, arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances to silence political dissent,” according to a recent assessment.

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