- The Washington Times - Monday, April 8, 2019

Military strategy, combatting terrorism and economic development will be on the docket when Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and President Trump meet Tuesday at the White House, administration officials said.

The White House will also stress the importance of human rights and democratic institutions, as Egypt forges ahead with a parliamentary plan that could effectively leave Mr. el-Sissi in power until 2034.

Administration officials said they’ve been “very frank and open with our Egyptian counterparts with the importance of continuing to develop Egyptian civil society.”

Mr. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will also push for the return of U.S. citizens detained in Egypt and protections for religious minorities within the northern African country.

Mr. el-Sissi will arrive at midday Tuesday and participate in a bilateral meeting with Mr. Trump.

Senior administration officials said they view Egypt as a vital partner in the Middle East and noted celebrations of the 40th anniversary of a peace deal between Israel and Egypt.

Mr. el-Sissi was elected in 2014 after retiring from a lengthy military career. He won reelection in 2018.

The meeting will occur two days before Mr. Trump welcomes South Korean President Moon Jae-In to discuss ongoing nuclear talks with North Korea.

The visits arrive on the heels of White House meetings this month with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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