WASHINGTON — President Trump signaled a new era in U.S.-Egypt diplomacy Monday, assuring his Egyptian counterpart that years of tepid relations will now give way to a “great bond” between their two nations.

Trump reunited with President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi for talks ranging from collaboration against the Islamic State to bolstering Egypt’s flailing economy.

In Trump, el-Sissi sees new opportunity after years of lukewarm relations with former President Obama.

“This is my first state visit to the United States since my inauguration and this is the first visit in eight years for an Egyptian president to the United States,” el-Sissi pointed out at the start of his remarks.

Obama never invited the Egyptian leader to the White House and Egypt’s government was repeatedly admonished over its human rights record. Obama even briefly suspended some U.S. military aid.

It’s the second meeting for the pair. Reflecting on their first encounter in New York shortly before the general election, Trump said el-Sissi is someone “very close to me.”

El-Sissi hailed Trump on Monday for his “unique personality” and said that after their first meeting, “I bet on you,” the latter being comments he made in Arabic that were not translated.

In recent months, U.S. and Egyptian officials have sought to stress commonalities. Like Trump, el-Sissi believes he can eradicate radical Islamic extremism.

“Together, we will fight terrorism and other things and we’re going to be friends for a very, very long time,” Trump said, citing a “great bond with the people of Egypt.”

El-Sissi vowed to work with the U.S. “to counter this evil ideology that is claiming innocent lives, that is bringing devastation to communities and nations and that is terrorizing the innocent people.”

Since the military overthrew Egypt’s first post-revolution president, the popularly elected Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood member, el-Sissi has cracked down on political Islamists.

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