4/9/19 Egypt (International Christian Concern)- The White House welcomed Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, on Tuesday for his second visit in three years. The two leaders plan to discuss military, economy and counterterrorism cooperation.
Missing from the conversation topics are discussions regarding concerns of human rights and recent constitutional amendments. Though both parties have taken stances advocating for religious freedom, it will be primarily absent from the visit. Sisi publicly inaugurated a Coptic cathedral in Egypt in January 2019. However, his apparent solidarity with Copts has done little to protect Christians in rural Egypt who comprise about 6 to 10 percent of the population and have continued to experience attacks under his leadership. Feelings among Coptic Christians varies depending on demographic differences.
In February 2019, Egypt’s parliament approved constitutional amendments that would allow Sisi to rule for an additional 15 years as well as give more power to the military. Egypt is the third-highest recipient of U.S. foreign military aid and has experienced a closer relationship with the U.S. under the new administration.
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