US Defense Secretary Arrives in Cairo for Sisi Meeting

Trump 'ordered Sisi' to release US-Egyptian charity worker

President Trump welcomed an Egyptian-American charity worker freed after almost three years of detention in Egypt on Friday.

"We are very happy to have Aya back home, and it's a great honor to have her in the Oval Office", Mr. Trump said.

Flashback: Hijazi, her husband, and four other humanitarian workers were held on child abuse and trafficking charges that were broadly dismissed as bogus by human rights workers and USA officials.

Hijazi was working in Cairo with the Belady Foundation, which she and her husband established as a haven and rehabilitation centre for street children in Cairo.

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi met US President Donald Trump in the White House in April this year, signalling a thawing of relations.

Earlier this week, a court acquitted Hijazi of charges of child abuse and allowed her to leave the country.

But Trump's warm and public embrace of the Egyptian president during his recent visit to the White House appeared to sway Cairo to free Hijazi.

More news: China "gravely concerned" over North Korea nuclear activities

Aya Hijazi, founder of a charity that promotes a better life for street children, has returned to the USA after three years in an Egyptian jail.

The diplomat who spoke under condition of anonymity told the Qatari media that the faith of the US worker was addressed, even though not officially, two weeks when the Egyptian leader al-Sisi visited his American counterpart in Washington.

"She was kept in pretty isolating circumstances" and "not even her lawyers can have time with her", McMullen said of Hijazi, who was born in Egypt and grew up in Falls Church, Virginia.

Hijazi is scheduled to meet Trump, his daughter, Ivanka, and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is believed to have taken a personal interest in Hijazi's case.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis met today in Cairo with Egyptian officials and discussed security threats facing the North African nation and ways to boost bilateral security cooperation. "We're so grateful", Basel Hijazi said in a mid-flight phone interview with the Post Thursday.

Sissi's visit marked a shift in relations after Trump's predecessor Barack Obama had given the Egyptian leader the cold shoulder for leading the overthrow of the first- democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

"The president and the team worked behind the scenes in a much more productive way ... to achieve the results", he said.

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