French President Emmanuel Macron and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attend a news conference at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, France, October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
CAIRO – 24 October 2017: French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed on Tuesday Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi saying that his schedule in Paris is intensive as he is scheduled to meet with so many ministers.
Macron added they have got the chance to delve deep into several subject matters they have been discussing for months. Among these is combating terrorism. “I would like to thank President Sisi and the Egyptian Armed Forces for playing a crucial role in that issue. We express our grief for your recent human losses in the Western Desert,” Macron said.
The French president stated that the security of Egypt is one of France’s main interests; wishing that stability in the region would be reinstated. “We are committed to weapon deals. We also talked about human rights and freedoms,” Macron added.
Macron stated that France realizes the role of President Sisi in combatting terror and violent radicalism. Both presidents discussed deals supporting the development program Egypt adopts. “We are committed to projects that Egyptian authorities prioritize such as energy and transportation,” Macron said.
France would also cooperate in sectors it is experienced in such as metro lines and renewable energy. The French president announced that a French economic delegation will be sent to Egypt in the beginning of 2018, especially to certain economic zones such as the one within the Suez Canal Axis for the excellent economic opportunities available there.
Both presidents also agreed upon different cultural events to be held in Egypt and France, boosting student exchange, and improving the education quality in the French University in Egypt. An Egyptian cultural centre will be established in France.
“We are working on combating illegal migration. We are looking forward to a comprehensive political solution in Syria, and establishing sustainable peace. I wish that we go further in our cooperation and mutual relations,” Macron stated.
President Sisi thanked his French counterpart for the great reception the Egyptian delegation received since its arrival in France. “We agreed on intensifying consultation and coordination regarding matters that interest both countries,” he said.
The president added that they held talks on Egypt’s economic reform programs, and the social security network it is establishing. “We closed deals with the value of €400 million ($471 million) in different economic and cultural sectors. That year coincides with the 150th anniversary of the Suez Canal,” Sisi stated.
Both discussed combating terrorism which strikes in both Egypt and France, and challenges Egypt’s reforms program, as well as establishing stability and order in Libya, and Syria in addition to security matters in the MENA region and Africa. The presidents held talks on the recent Palestinian reconciliation as well.
“Our meeting today is a new starting point for the mutual cooperation between Egypt and France. I invite you to visit Egypt,” Sisi said.
Macron said that both countries have a strategic and military partnership in combating terrorism, and that France supports the “battle” against terrorism. “We are committed to providing everything that Egypt needs to combat terror. We are also committed to achieving reconciliation in Libya and Syria,” Macron stated.
The French president highlighted the three dimensions of the human rights framework in Egypt. The first is combating terror, terrorist groups, and violent radicalism. “We shall never forget that framework,” Macron stressed.
“Second, I do not accept comments from others on how I govern my country so I would not do that to others countries. Results matter the most, and Egypt achieved much in that aspect in light of its circumstances. Third, combating terror is an ultimate preservation of human rights,” Macron added.
“Terror has shaken the region. Terror could have destroyed the region and even Europe. We are keen on establishing a modern democratic state,” Sisi said.
The president addressed the French saying, “You have to be extra careful with reports issued by NGOs as we have an outlawed group keen to crack the country.” He emphasized the fact that there are tens of thousands of NGOs which are operating peacefully and providing noble services to the society.
“We are suffering from deteriorating education, healthcare, unemployment, and housing crises. You never ask about the human rights of the families of our martyrs and the injured who fell as victims of terrorism. You never ask about the three million who are working in the tourism industry and who are suffering due to terror,” Sisi said.
The president added that, “Human rights should not be considered exclusively in terms of political rights. We are not France in its cultural development. We are a different part of the world.”