Donald Trump and Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
The Obama administration had a strained relationship with Egypt, but things look warmer under Donald Trump. Reuters

Egyptian President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi is set to become the first African leader to meet Donald Trump since the former reality TV star ascended to the White House.

On Monday (3 April), Sisi will become the first Egyptian leader to visit the White House since the 2011 revolution, which was followed by a 2013 military coup that brought him to power after months of tension.

Trump has enjoyed a relatively cordial relationship with Sisi and Egypt so far, contrasting starkly with the frosty divisions under the previous Obama administration.

Trump met Sisi on the sidelines at the UN general assembly in September 2016, and the pair have been friendly ever since.

For Trump, the meeting will be an opportunity to show warm relations with the Arab world's most populous nation following the attempted introduction of a controversial travel ban targeting six majority-Muslim countries.

Under the Obama administration, military aid to Egypt was capped in October 2013, shortly after Sisi seized power, and was reduced to $1.3bn in annual military assistance and preventing the sale of some larger items such as fighter jets.

There had also been calls for Egypt to desist from the mass trials, widespread jailing of opponents and crackdown on civil liberties that swept across Egypt under Sisi.

Despite the aid cap being lifted in 2015, the two nations never warmed to each other.

Sisi has insisted that Egypt is key in the fight against Isis, however the country is struggling to take back control of the province of North Sinai in the north east of the country.

In Sinai, internet and phone blackouts have been common and foreign journalists have been barred from entering the area, making any claims difficult to verify.

As well as the fight against Isis, the Palestinian-Israeli peace process is expected to also be on the agenda.