Vice President Mike Pence arrived Saturday afternoon to meet with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, whom he praised and repeatedly called a “friend” of the United States.
The leaders met for nearly 2½ hours at the presidential palace and delivered brief statements before a small group of reporters who are traveling with Pence – a nearly nine-minute event that only happened after intense negotiation between Pence’s staff and Egyptian authorities, who wanted to limit access to one television camera with limited sound and, at one point, physically barred reporters from leaving a bus.
Sitting in gold-gilded chairs in front of an intricate tapestry showing a map of Egypt, Sissi said through an interpreter that Pence is a “dear guest” and that his visit “speaks volumes” about Egypt’s relationship with the Trump administration. Pence said that the two countries had been “drifting apart” until Trump took office but that their “ties have never been stronger,” especially as they work together to fight terrorism in the region. He added that he chose to visit Egypt first on his four-day, three-country Middle East tour because of the importance of the U.S.-Egyptian relationship.
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · Jenna Johnson