Egyptian community receives Sisi outside Elysee Palace
CAIRO – 25 October 2017: Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi conveyed Egypt’s perspective of human rights on the sidelines of his visit to France on Tuesday.
President Sisi and French President Emmanuel Macron revealed in a press conference a range of discussed issues, starting with the bilateral military and economic cooperation and ending with human rights issues.
Earlier Tuesday morning, the French minister of economy confirmed that Macron will tackle human rights issues with the Egyptian president. Criticizing Egypt's policy, Human Rights Watch has demanded France to stop its lenient policy with what it described as "the repressive adopted policy" of the Egyptian government towards citizens' human rights.
On the margins of the conference, Egypt and France signed an agreement to enhance bilateral relations and promote ways of cultural, educational and scientific cooperation.
Having welcomed the presence of Sisi as a sign for the common friendly bilateral relations, Macron initiated his speech with the Egyptian-French determination on strengthening the deeply rooted interrelations and mutual dialogue in regard to the crises both countries have witnessed.
"The first front we counter together is terror. Egypt, like France, has suffered a lot over the last years," said Macron, praising the important role of Sisi and the Egyptian military forces and offering his condolences for the lives claimed by the last terroristic attack. "We have also tackled the situation in Syria and Libya, and countering all terroristic elements affiliated to the ISIS terrorist group in the region."
"For achieving security and stability of the society, Egypt should first guarantee the economic development, and France is determined to support Egypt in the economic and social reform program," continued Macron in his speech.
On his part, the Egyptian president thanked his French counterpart and commenced his speech to express deep gratitude and appreciation for the warm reception he received since his arrival. Sisi praised the historic bilateral and friendly relations in all fields.
Speaking of human rights, Sisi said, "Where are the rights for the martyrs and their families in Egypt, and the rights for the three million who work in the field of tourism and are victimized by terror? We cannot limit human rights to political rights only."
In a strongly worded tone, Sisi responded to the Human Rights Watch allegations, saying, "Why don't you ask me about good education, medicine, employment, housing and true awareness that we should instill in the Egyptian mentality? We do not evade the reply for the question of human rights, but we have to pay attention that we are not in Europe; we are in a country with different conditions. We have not reached the European cultural, civilized and humanitarian progress," said Sisi, concluding his speech.
The Egyptian president concluded his speech stressing that Terror has shaken the Middle East region and could have destroyed the region and even Europe, expressing his keenness on establishing a modern democratic state.