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The New Arab

Egypt's Sisi to meet with Trump during US visit

Last month, Trump pledged to cooperate with Sisi to combat terrorism [Getty]

Date of publication: 19 September, 2016

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will meet with US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Monday during his visit to New York for the UN General Assembly.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will meet with US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Monday during his visit to New York for the UN General Assembly.

Sisi, who flew to New York on Sunday along with loyal lawmakers and media figures, will meet with Trump as well as the Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Egyptian state media reported.

Last month, Trump pledged to cooperate with Sisi and Jordan's King Abdullah to combat terrorism in his first foreign policy speech as the Republican nominee.

The real estate magnate and reality-TV show controversially suggested banning all Muslims from entering the US earlier in his campaign.

Authorities in Egypt are pulling out all the stops to ensure Sisi's visit will be a diplomatic success despite growing criticism of the country's human rights record under his rule.

Parliamentarian Nashwa al-Deeb told reporters she and others would be meeting with US officials to redress the "wrong perceptions and positions" about Egypt.

Some of Sisi's previous visits in the West have been marred by protests or assaults on accompanying journalists by supporters of Mohammad Morsi, the Islamist president who was ousted by a military coup led by Sisi in 2013.

Egypt's Orthodox Coptic Church, a staunch ally the regime, has dispatched senior clerics to exhort followers there to rally in support of him upon his arrival.

"Let us welcome Egypt as represented by its loved president ... before every nation, as a manifestation of appreciation, dignity and love," Pope Tawadros II, the church's spiritual leader, told local media.

He urged Egyptians living in the US to not take part in protests, saying: "Many people have fallen victim to media propaganda that spread lies about Copts and Muslims."

Western nations and rights groups have strongly criticised Egypt's human rights record in the three years since Morsi's overthrow.

Authorities have jailed thousands of people, mainly Islamists but also leading secular and liberal activists behind the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

On Sunday, Egypt rejected calls from the White House to release Egyptian-American dual citizen, Aya Higazi, jailed on charges of "sexually exploiting street children."

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