Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said Tuesday in an exclusive interview with Bret Baier that he has a standing invitation to address Congress, but would like to do so when Americans have a better idea of the ongoing events in Egypt.
Baier asked the Egyptian president why he has not been invited by the White House or visited in another capacity, even though he has been invited to Russia as he continues to improve relations between the U.S. and Egypt. El-Sisi, who became president in June 2014, sighed for nearly 12 seconds before answering.
“As a matter of fact, I received an invitation from members of the U.S. Congress to speak to the Congress members. I believe the invitation is on and the visiting is available,” el-Sisi told Baier via translation. “I understand that it might take some time before there is a complete understanding of what took place in Egypt.”
El-Sisi was invited to the White House last July for the U.S-Africa Leaders Summit, but declined the invitation. His decision was construed as a sign of worsening relations between the two nations.
“Undoubtedly it needed a lot of clarification and needed a lot of enlightened arguments in order to explain all the complications that shadow this region including Egypt,” Sisi said. “But Egypt is very much committed to the relations with the United States and Egypt is really keen on the strategic partnership of the United States.”
The capacity of the standing invite as relates to the Egyptian president is unknown at this time. A spokesman for Speaker John Boehner denied that the speaker has any involvement in a push to bring el-Sisi for a visit.
News of a standing invite comes a week after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress, which received plaudits from many across the spectrum within the GOP.