Egypt says Trump to visit Cairo at earliest opportunity

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Egypt officials said on Monday that U.S. President Donald Trump had told President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in a phone call that he would like to visit the North African country at the earliest opportunity to discuss ways to “counter terrorism in the Middle East.”

In a statement released by the Egyptian presidency, Trump had made the phone call to el-Sisi as a show of emphasis of the importance of the strategic relations between the two countries.

There was however no indication on when the U.S. president would actually make the trip.

President el-Sisi visited Washington last month for talks with Trump, intended to mend relations between the two countries that had gotten strained during President Barack Obama’s administration.

Egypt has long been one of Washington’s closest allies in the Middle East, receiving $1.3 billion in U.S. military aid annually.

The North African country has waged an Islamist insurgency in Sinai, in which hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and police have been killed.

The two presidents are set to meet again this weekend in Saudi Arabia, where Trump will be making his first official visit as president. President el-Sisi will be among regional leaders invited to meet the visiting U.S. president.

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