President Trump helped bring an Egyptian-American prisoner held in Egypt, and her husband, home to the U.S., something President Obama failed to do.
President Trump’s intervention with Egypt’s president, during a visit to D.C. last week, helped the U.S. bring home a citizen being unjustly held prisoner in Egypt, according to a Washington Post report on Thursday night.
The Obama administration had tried to convince Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi to release the prisoner, U.S. citizen Aya Hijazi, and her husband Mohamed Hassanein, but had failed.
The effort was weeks in the making, according to the Post‘s reporting:
President Trump and his aides worked for several weeks with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi to secure the freedom of Aya Hijazi, 30, a U.S. citizen, as well as her husband, Mohamed Hassanein, who is Egyptian, and four other humanitarian workers. Trump dispatched a U.S. government aircraft to Cairo to bring Hijazi and her family to Washington.
…The Obama administration unsuccessfully pressed Sissi’s government for their release. It was not until Trump moved to reset U.S. relations with Egypt by embracing Sissi at the White House on April 3 — he publicly hailed the autocrat’s leadership as “fantastic” and offered the U.S. government’s “strong backing” — that Egypt’s posture changed. Last Sunday, a court in Cairo dropped all charges against Hijazi and the others.
Hijazi’s brother was very grateful to President Trump for his intervention, saying: “Working closely with the Trump administration was very important for my family at this critical time.”
Some Obama administration officials grumbled about Trump’s praise for Sissi – who has been accused of abusing his power since ascending to office in a 2013 coup – but Trump did accomplish something Obama could not for almost three years.
Hijazi had been held in prison since 2014, on “charges of child abuse that were widely dismissed as bogus by human rights groups and U.S. officials.”
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