White House says Egypt's Sisi to visit April 3

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, shown here in March, is visiting the White House on April 3

The White House announced Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will make an "official visit" to Washington on April 3, ending years in which the Egyptian president had been kept at arm's length amid rights concerns.

"President Trump and President Al-Sisi will use the visit to build on the positive momentum they have built for the United States-Egypt relationship," the White House said in a statement Tuesday.

Sisi's visit to Washington would be the first to the White House since the former army chief became president in 2014.

His relations with former president Barack Obama's administration were strained by Sisi's role in ousting then-president Mohamed Morsi.

In response, the US had briefly suspended $1.3 billion in military aid, which was fully reinstated in 2015.

From the outset, Trump has shown more willingness to engage the former general, despite repeated reports of human rights violations under his rule.

He met the Egyptian leader in September, and Sisi was reportedly the first to call Trump to offer his congratulations on his November election win.

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