Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump’s daughter and adviser, took to Twitter on Thursday to praise Egypt’s reform program on women empowerment.
“Egyptian President Al Sisi delivered an important speech last weekend calling for major reforms aimed at empowering Egyptian women. We encourage & support these reforms, & look forward to working w/ the Egyptian government to advance these efforts.”
Egypt Today reports that her comment came after President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi announced seven decisions relating to female empowerment on Egyptian Women Day. His notable decisions include ending domestic violence, adopting laws that protect women’s rights, and addressing issues of early marriage, the deprivation of post-divorce, and education rights. Following his talk with the health minister about screening and treating the nation’s women for breast cancer, Sisi also proposed a fund that would aid Egyptian women as they face these challenges.
President Trump and President Sisi are meeting at the White House on April 9 to discuss bilateral relations as well as issues — both regional and international — that are of concern to both the United States and Egypt.
According to the White House, the meeting is a culmination of the increased cooperation between both countries.
“The two leaders will also discuss developments and shared priorities in the region, including enhancing regional economic integration and addressing ongoing conflicts, and Egypt’s longstanding role as a lynchpin of regional stability.”
Ivanka Trump praises Egypt’s reform program on women empowerment https://t.co/3uSZtQskZk
— EACHAM (@EACHAMUSA) April 5, 2019
Trump met with Sisi at the White House back in April 2017 for the first time. He praised Sisi’s leadership of Egypt and committed to cooperating with the leader on issues of counterterrorism.
“I just want to let everybody know, in case there was any doubt, that we are very much behind President al-Sisi.”
Per Politico, past U.S. presidents weren’t as friendly to Sisi. In fact, they criticized his authoritarian regime that was installed in 2013 via a coup d’etat that removed former president Mohamed Morsi from power. But Trump claims that Sisi is an ally that can help U.S. interests in its fight in the Middle East. He sometimes takes to Twitter to praise the Egyptian leader, most recently in January, when he said that he was excited to watch Sisi create a “more inclusive future” for Egypt.
Activists have criticized Trump’s praise of Sisi, pointing to the fact that Sisi has created a more oppressive regime than Egypt’s former dictator, Hosni Mubarak, and jailed tens of thousands of people for political reasons.
Mubarak himself was supported by the U.S. until he was removed from power during the 2011 “Arab spring” revolutions.