US defence secretary arrives in Cairo for meeting with Egypt president

Egyptian President to visit Saudi Arabia after tensions

"President Sisi expressed Egypt's keenness that relations with the United States would witness a strong boom under the Trump administration", the spokesman said.

Sisi stressed "the strength of Egyptian-American relations and its resilience to numerous hard challenges during the past years", according to a statement released by Egyptian presidency.

"Today, the President is proud to be welcoming her back to the White House and happy that she is back home on American soil", Spicer said.

Trump was briefed on Hijazi's case early in his term and directed his national security team to take steps to secure her release, he said.

Hijazi became the face of Egypt's crackdown in 2014, She had her husband were sentenced to prison on May 1,2014 on child abuse and trafficking charges that have been widely criticized and dismissed by multiple human rights workers and USA officials as false.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis agreed to boost military cooperation between the two countries, during a meeting Thursday.

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The man was a French national who shot two officers in 2001 after being stopped by a police vehicle , the source said. In a televised address, outgoing French President Francois Hollande called the shooting the work of terrorists.

Hijazi, 30, was flown to Joint Base Andrews, the USA military airfield near Washington.

She will also be greeted by his daughter, Ivanka, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, reports the Washington Post, which broke the story.

Subsequently, on April 22, Mattis will travel to Qatar to meet with "international (regional) leadership and continue efforts to strengthen security architectures" in the area, according to USA official sources.

"As far as the release of the American citizen, she was found innocent in the Egyptian courts, and appropriately she is returned home", Mattis told reporters Friday in Tel Aviv.

He made no reference to USA efforts to negotiate Hijazi's release.

Sisi's visit Washington in April marked a shift in relations after Trump's predecessor Barack Obama had given the Egyptian leader the cold shoulder for leading the military overthrow of former president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.Obama had temporarily suspended military aid to Egypt following a bloody crackdown on Morsi's supporters. Egyptian authorities accused them of abusing children in their care and engaging in human trafficking, kidnapping, sexual exploitation and torture. The other defendants were also found not guilty. Hijazi was released from jail on Tuesday, having been held for almost three years.

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