US president Joe Biden mistakenly referred to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as the president of Mexico, in comments ironically meant to counter concerns over his lapses in memory.
While answering questions from reporters in the White House on Thursday regarding hostage negotiations and humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip, Biden said that “Initially, the president of Mexico – Sisi – did not want to open up the [Rafah border] gate to allow humanitarian material to get in. I talked to him. I convinced him to open the gate.”
The mistake in the name of the country of which Sisi is president came amid ongoing and growing concerns over the US president’s lapses in memory, especially as his comments to journalists at the time were focused on a report into his handling of classified documents, causing fears that his memory was ‘severely limited’.
The mistake has furthered rumours of cognitive decline, which many expect to hinder his chances in the upcoming American elections later this year.
Following Biden’s slip, many Egyptians took to social media to mock the remarks, as it is reportedly common amongst social media users in the country to refer to Egyptian authorities and Sisi’s government as ‘Mexico’ in order to avoid detection and suppression by state security services.