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At the Presidential Palace, Mr. Sisi and the Egyptian First Lady greeted FLOTUS at the front door as military guards stood at attention.
The pool was driven through the streets of Cairo, a densely populated city where the population can reach 25 million during the commuting workweek. (17 million in off hours, according to an Egyptian official.)
We had no issues making it through the traffic: Today is a holiday in Egypt. (Also, we were in an armored motorcade and, in addition to security lining the streets, police officers were standing atop residential buildings to ensure a safe route.)
We had to leave our electronic equipment in the vans when we reached the presidential palace. A smaller pool peeled off as the rest of pool waited outside of a gate.
The palace is made of ornate cream stone with arabesque designs. It sits in front of a marble courtyard complete with topiaries, fountains and golden eagles.
Mr. Sisi and the Egyptian First Lady greeted FLOTUS at the front door as military guards stood at attention. Pool followed as the trio strode through the ornate marble foyer featuring chandeliers and artwork of pharaoh queens, then entered a stateroom lined with tapestries and paintings. Red roses sat in vases.
Security guards closed the embellished wooden doors for a moment so the trio could arrange themselves. When the doors were opened, Mr. Sisi sat in the middle of the group, flanked by both First Ladies. He looked straight ahead with a small smile. To his right, FLOTUS sat primly with her hands clasped as the cameras flashed.
After about 30 seconds, the pool was quickly ushered out into a seating area. We were just as quickly ushered into a more ornate seating area complete with gilded chairs and fat-leafed potted plants. There, officials supplied guava juice, tea cookies and waters on silver trays.
After about an hour — the longest of these meetings the First Lady has had so far — the trio emerged, flanked by interpreters and a phalanx of security.
We started rolling at 1:38 pm, driving past Tahrir Square, Cairo Tower, and the Nile river before arriving at the US embassy.
We arrived at the embassy at 1:54 pm and will hold while FLOTUS does a meet and greet. It is a half hour ride to the pyramids (our next stop) from here.
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