Print Edition - 2017-04-06 | Oped
Sisi, an enemy of human rights
- Expressions of mutual admiration that permeated the Oval Office were borderline unctuous
Apr 6, 2017-
President Trump on Monday welcomed one of the most authoritarian leaders in the Middle East, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, a man responsible for killing hundreds of Egyptians, jailing thousands of others and running his country into the ground.The expressions of mutual admiration that permeated the Oval Office were borderline unctuous. Mr. Trump assured Mr. Sisi he has a “great friend and ally in the United States and in me.” In return, Mr. Sisi expressed his “deep appreciation and admiration” for Mr. Trump.
Egypt is one of America’s closest allies in the Middle East and receives some $1.3 billion in annual military aid, but years of tumult have strained relations. Mr. Sisi first cracked down on the Islamists then turned his sights on secular opponents and nongovernmental groups. The United States suspended delivery of a modest amount of military aid and asked for improvements in human rights and democracy, which never happened.
Mr. Trump has now made it transparently clear that human rights and democracy are not his big concerns. Mr. Sisi’s actions can only fuel more anger and unrest. His task is to undertake economic and political reforms that benefit all Egyptians, not just the military. The White House spectacle might have been worth it if Mr. Trump had tried to make these points to his guest.
Published: 06-04-2017 08:02