CAIRO - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will make his first state visit to Washington during the first week of April at the invitation of US President Donald Trump, Egyptian state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram reported on Sunday.The trip will be Sisi's first US state visit since being elected president in 2014 as former US president Barack Obama had never extended an invitation.
Sisi was elected a year after leading the military's ousting of the Muslim Brotherhood's president Mohamed Morsi after mass protests. Trump invited Sisi in January but the date of the visit had not been announced.The report of Sisi's upcoming visit came after Palestinian media reported over the weekend that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was scheduled to meet Trump in Washington in mid-April.The report stated that Abbas had received an official invitation from the White House. A spokesman for Abbas, Nabil Abu Rudeina, said the meeting would include a discussion on resuming the now frozen peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Last Friday, Trump and Abbas held their first official phone call since the former took office. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Trump have spoken on the phone at least twice since the Jan. 20 inauguration, and Netanyahu visited Washington last month.At a February 15 news conference during Netanyahu's visit, Trump was ambivalent about a two-state solution, the mainstay of US policy in the region for the past two decades.The White House has since been more cautious on the issue, and there has been less talk of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a promise Trump made during the campaign but a move that would provoke anger across the Muslim world.Yasser Okbi/Maari Hashavua contributed to this report.
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