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Tuesday, 4 April 2017

El Sisi-Trump summit: what else is there today?

As expected, the talking heads last night discussed nothing but Monday’s Trump-Sisi meeting in the Oval Office.

Economic ties were at the top of yesterday’s agenda, as both presidents stressed their eagerness to deepen ties, Investment Minister Sahar Nasr told Hona Al Asema’s Lamees El Hadidi from DC. Trump reassured the delegation that the US will continue to provide Egypt with economic support, Nasr added, whether through its voting power in international funding institutions or through “major” direct investments (watch, runtime 7:20).

Finance Minister Amr El Garhy also told Lamees that the Egyptian delegation promised to make it easier for US companies to invest in Egypt, particularly in the fields of energy and petrochemicals (watch, runtime 4:16).

On the international relations front, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told El Hadidi that Trump and Sisi are of the same mind over security and regional issues, as well as the need to be “practical” in the face of challenges. The minister stressed that the day marked an important step forward in Egyptian-US relations and told Lamees that El Sisi is set to also meet with the US secretaries of defense, state, and trade during his visit to delve deeper into cooperation talks. (watch, runtime 11:08).

The minister also told Kol Youm’s Amr Adib that Trump’s statements about the US intending to invest in its military were in reference to combined regional efforts to combat terrorism. Shoukry also said that Trump acknowledged the importance of supporting Egypt to allow it to play its strategic role in achieving stability in the region (watch, runtime: 12:27).

Adib criticized an attempt to assault talk show host Youssef El Hosseiny in Washington. The alleged attacker, an Egyptian, is shown in the footage wearing a t-shirt with a picture of El Sisi, which he used to blend with the crowd before making his move and quickly getting neutralized by nearby police (watch, runtime: 3:52). It seems Egyptians beating up on talk show hosts in Amreeka is a thing, if you’ll recall events in New York a couple of years back.

Over on MBC, Yahduth Fi Misr’s Sherif Amer spoke to former Trump advisor Walid Phares, who said that the new US administration supports Egypt’s drive to label the Ikhwan a terrorist group, but added that the time was not yet right to make the decision. He told Amer that other Arab countries had also made the same request.

(The Ikhwan appear to be feeling the heat and reacting in kind: The Ikhwan’s Shura Council is planning to vote this weekend on whether or not it should pursue conciliation with the Sisi administration and seek a way back into the political arena, AMAY reports. The proposal is being met with some opposition from within the group and preacher Magdy Ghoneim has reportedly suspended his membership in protest. Exiled preacher Youssef Al Qaradawi has also threatened to follow suit, the newspaper adds.)

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