His honesty touched hearts, says Sisi on Trump win
US President-elect Donald Trump won the elections because his "honesty and truthfulness" touched the hearts of voters, Egypt's president has said.
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi told Egyptian state media in an extended interview this week that he was optimistic about relations with the US given the incoming Trump administration.
"I was expecting that [Trump] would win because his honesty and truthfulness touched the hearts and souls of Americans," Sisi said.
Sisi suggested that expanded military aid and cooperation on terrorism would take place after Trump takes power on Friday.
"There are however some issues that need more understanding and cooperation such as the Palestinian issue. We need to make our point of view clear to the US administration," he added.
"Regarding counter-terrorism, there are positive signs there will be cooperation through sharing experience, information and providing equipment. There are also important signs that point to Egypt having a bigger role in the region the coming period will see greater cooperation with the US," he added.
Sisi was the first world leader to call to congratulate Trump for winning the presidential elections in a shock victory in November.
Last month, Egypt agreed to postpone a UN vote demanding Israel to stop building settlements on Palestinian land after a phone call from Trump.
Despite Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric, Sisi and many others Egyptians have welcomed his victory, arguing it could be a positive development for the country.
Sisi has defended Trump's inflammatory campaign trail statements, which included a proposed ban on Muslims entering the US, saying they do not represent the actions he will take as president.
The Egyptian leader has even backed Trump's proposal to set up a database of Muslims, arguing it would ensure "security and stability".
Sisi, who assumed power in 2014 following the ousting of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, has painted himself as a regional leader in the fight against Islamic militancy – a stance that echoes Trump's priorities.