Provides Update on Progress Since Historic First Meeting In Cairo Last Year, Including Fight Against Terrorism & Extremism and Protect Religious Freedom
NEW YORK CITY, Sept. 28, 2018 – Amidst meetings with world leaders this week, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi met with a delegation of American Evangelical leaders for a follow-up meeting in his New York hotel on Wednesday afternoon. Mr. Sisi is in Manhattan for the opening of the 73rd session of the U.N. General Assembly.
President el-Sisi wanted to continue the conversation he began with Evangelicals at the Presidential Palace in suburban Cairo last November. During the 90-minute meeting, he provided an update on progress since that historic first-ever meeting with the Christian leaders. Among the topics discussed: the government’s increasingly successful efforts to counter terrorism and religious and ideological extremism; protect churches from terrorist attack; protect freedom of religion for people of all faiths; quietly assist in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process; and strengthen Egypt’s strategic alliance with the United States.
Participating in the meeting was Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan Shoukry, Director General for General Intelligence Abbas Kamel, and presidential spokesman Bassam Rady.
The President said he was encouraged by the improving level of coordination and consultation between Egypt and the U.S. at various levels on security and economic matters, and said Egyptians are seeing the fruit of the government’s reform efforts, including improved economic growth, lower unemployment, and increased tourism.
“Mr. President, you are defeating the terrorists and the dangerous ideology that fuels them,” said Dr. Mike Evans, who was a member of the delegation who traveled to Cairo last Fall. “Fighting terrorism is a human right. You liberated Egypt from the tyranny of the Muslim Brotherhood. You’re making Egypt safer and more prosperous for everyone, and we applaud you for it.”
“We’re making progress, but don’t stop praying for us,” the President replied.
Joel C. Rosenberg, the New York Times best-selling author who led the delegation last year at the President’s invitation, quoted a verse from the New Testament during the discussion.
“Jesus told us, ‘You will know them by their fruits.’ (Matthew 7:16, New American Standard Bible). We as Evangelical Christians are not simply listening to your speeches. We are watching what you do. You’re not claiming to be perfect. But we see you making progress on many fronts. Just this month, you’ve appointed two Christian governors, including the first-ever woman Christian governor. You’re rebuilding churches that were burned or damaged by the Muslim Brotherhood. You’re building a large new church in your new administrative capital. You’re working closely with Israel to fight terrorists in the Sinai. And you’re doing everything possible to improve conditions in Gaza and jump-start the stalled peace process. This isn’t rhetoric. These are specific and positive actions. You’ve got an important story to tell, but more people need to hear it.”
President el-Sisi thanked the delegation for their words of reassurance and support, opining that, other than discussions with President Trump and Vice President Pence, “this was the most encouraging discussion of the many meetings I have had since arriving in the United States this week.”
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Evans (founder of the Jerusalem Prayer Team and the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem) and Mr. Rosenberg (New York Times best-selling author) organized the delegation of American Evangelical leaders.
Hon. Michele Bachmann, former U.S. Member of Congress
Michael Little, former President and COO of The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) and Board Chair of the National Religious Broadcasters
Jay Strack, President and Founder of Student Leadership University
A. Larry Ross, President of A. Larry Ross Communications
Wayne Pederson, Reach Beyond Global Ambassador