Egyptian President Abdel Fatah Sisi met with Jewish-American leaders in Cairo on Sunday to discuss the Middle East and the political and economic challenges his country faces.
Alaa Youssef, the president’s spokesperson, said he met with Jewish leaders in an attempt to strengthen cooperation, adding that Egyptian-American relations are extensive and of strategic importance. The delegation was from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, an umbrella organization that represents over 50 major U.S. Jewish groups.
“The coming challenges require that we strengthen that relationship,” he said.
At the meeting, Sisi discussed the war on terror, Egypt’s financial challenges, the campaign against corruption and perks for investors. Youssef said that Sisi’s American counterparts expressed their appreciation of the president’s efforts on a number of fronts, namely the war on terror and Egypt’s leadership role in the region.
Sisi was on the receiving end of criticism on Arab social media for the meeting with American Jewish leaders.
“Sisi is the biggest Zionist in the Middle East,” Saleh Almansoori tweeted.
Eman Alrijraji commented cynically: “It looks like a family reunion. Not that we mind, every family has its secrets.”
يبدو اجتماعاً عائلياً فلا يصح أن نتدخل البيوت أسرار يا دكتور😜
— eeman abdulrahman (@emanrij) February 19, 2017
“You can see how humiliated he looks,” Abu Hamad tweeted.
الذل واضح عليه
— ابوحمد (@a_3001) February 19, 2017
Husam tweeted: “Quite a few Jewish-Americans don’t recognize the self-proclaimed Israel. They even say that they don’t define themselves as Jews or Israelis.”
@muslat_AlOtaibi هناك عدد لا يستهان به من يهود امريكا لا يعترفوا بمن تسمي نفسهااسرائيل بل يقولون انهم ليسوا بيهود ولاباسرائيلين
— وطني الحبيب السعودية (@moilal47) February 20, 2017
Hicham commented on the account of Russia Today’s Arabic service: “What’s taken by force can only be recovered by force. Enough with your peace delusions.”
ما اخذ في القوه لا يرد إلا في القوه . كفاكم اوهام في السلام
— hicham (@hicham7662) February 19, 2017
“He’s a Jew, like them,” replied Om Bassam to a tweet on a Saudi report of the meeting.
هو يهودي مثلهم#
— أم بسام (@Om_Bssam) February 20, 2017
Memo took a jab at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Sisi’s rival: “Let him meet them, what’s the problem? It’s strange that the supporters of the infallible Caliph Erdogan whose relationship with the Jews is more than cordial.”