US President Donald Trump to have first meeting with African head of state

Elsa Buchanan
Donald Trump and Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

United States President Donald Trump is set to have his first meeting with an African leader next month, when he will reportedly be meeting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, according to AP news agency.

Since assuming office in January this year, Trump has said little about Africa or African issues, focusing primarily on a domestic agenda.

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While the meeting has not yet been confirmed by either presidential offices, Trump is expected to meet Sisi in Washington next month, according to an official, speaking anonymously.

A close ally of the US, Sisi was one of the first presidents to congratulate the 45th American president after his election win in November 2016.

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The meeting follows phone calls between the two presidents, who in January discussed ways to boost the fight against terrorism and extremism.

Would the meeting go ahead, Sisi would become the first African leader to meet Trump, whose administration has made the commitment to support the North African nation.

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This comes after there were conflicting reports the America was supposed to meet long-time strongman, Congo's president Denis Sassou Nguesso in on 27 December, but Trump's spokeswoman Hope Hicks later stated that no meeting had been scheduled.

Trump made his first phone calls to African heads of state early February, when he spoke to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and South African President Jacob Zuma to discuss a number of key issues, including security and terrorism.

The US is Africa's largest bilateral aid donor with an estimated $9bn (£7.2bn), followed by the UK ($4bn or £3.2bn) and France ($2bn, £1.6bn), according to 2015 figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

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