Vice President Mike Pence began his trip in the Middle East with a Saturday visit to Egypt, where he met with President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo.
Pence said after a time when the U.S. and Egypt were “drifting apart," their relationship has “never been stronger.”
The relationship “has been revived in the last year,” Pence said, telling el-Sissi that President Trump “sends his gratitude to you for your leadership.”
“We stand shoulder to shoulder with you in Egypt in the fight against terrorism,” Pence added, according to a press pool report.
El-Sissi said the two discussed ways to end the “disease and cancer” of terrorism, and also referred to Trump as his “friend.”
Reporters experienced some difficulty in covering Pence's meeting with el-Sissi.
The pool report said that when reporters first arrived at the presidential palace, they were "physically blocked from getting out of the press bus by an Egyptian security officer."
Only one cameraman was able to get into the photo spray at the top of the first bilateral meeting.
However, Pence’s staff negotiated for the entire U.S. press corps to go into the next photo spray, the pool report said. "During the negotiations, press did not have access to their phones because they had been instructed to leave them in the bus," the report added.
The quick visit to Egypt came before Pence’s travels to Jordan and Israel.
The trip to the region by Pence comes after Trump’s controversial December decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Pence and el-Sissi did not discuss the decision, or the Palestinians, in front of reporters.
Pence also reportedly will visit with U.S. troops in the region during the three-country tour.