CAIRO – 26 August 2019: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has held meetings with the G7 summit leaders in Biarritz on Sunday and Monday, during which he discussed fostering ties and also spoke about key issues in African and the Middle East.
G7 stands for seven countries – US, UK, Japan, Italy, Germany, France and Canada, which represent 40% of the global GDP, according to the official website of the Elysee.
France had previously hosted the G7 summits for six times since the establishment of the group in 1975 to tackle global issues of peace, security, health, education, environment, climate change, counterterrorism, etc.
Sisi met on Saturday with Giuseppe Conte, who resigned on Tuesday as Italy's prime minister, on the sidelines of the Summit of the Group of Seven of the most advanced economies held in France's Biarritz.
Sisi and Conte reviewed the latest investigations on the issue of Italian PhD student Giulio Regeni who was tortured and killed in Cairo in 2016, while his body was discovered in February of the same year.
The investigations are carried out by both Egypt and Italy, but perpetrators of the crime are still unannounced.
Sisi highlighted the big efforts Egypt exerted in the past few years to uncover the murder of Giulio Regeni in terms of complete transparency, the Egyptian presidential spokesman said in an interview with DMC.
During the meeting, Sisi stressed the importance Egypt attaches to developing various cooperation frameworks with Italy in various fields, presidential spokesman Bassam Radi said.
For his part, Conte expressed Italy's keenness to continue consultation with the Egyptian president on the latest regional developments, especially the Libyan issue and the fight against terrorism.
They also reviewed ways of developing economic, trade and investment relations between the two countries, especially in light of the opportunities offered by the development projects being implemented in Egypt.
Conte resigned following a clash with the ruling League party, whose leader, Matteo Salvini, also serving as the country's interior minister, decided to present a no-confidence motion in the coalition government, calling on Conte to step down.
Meeting African leaders
Sisi received on Sunday President of Rwanda Paul Kagame, President of Senegal Macky Sall, President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa and President of Burkina Faso Roch Marc Christian Kaboré .
This came on the sideline of a luncheon hosted by the Egyptian leader, as Chairperson of the African Union, to coordinate the African stand on a number of issues.
All the African president Sisi met have expressed their appreciation for the initiative of Sisi to hold this meeting to coordinate the African positions during the Biarritz Summit, the presidential spokesman said, praising the effective Egyptian presidency of the African Union this year.
They stressed the importance of enhancing continental integration, and furthering efforts to encourage intra-trade through activating the African-Continental Free Trade Agreement, and launching the executive steps of the deal.
On the same day, Sisi expressed Egypt's appreciation of the ongoing progress in Egyptian-German relations and for the mutual commitment to further enhance ties in all fields for the benefit of the two countries and their peoples.
This came during Sisi's meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday.
The president emphasized Egypt's commitment to fostering closer cooperation and enhancing political consultations between the two countries on various regional and international issues in light of Egypt's current chairmanship of the African Union and Germany's membership of the Security Council.
For her part, Chancellor Merkel lauded the solid relations that Egypt and Germany share, referring to the great momentum the two countries' relations have recently gained, notably in economy and trade.
Chancellor Merkel reiterated that Egypt is considered one of Germany's key partners in the Middle East.
The German chancellor confirmed her country's keenness to discuss with Egypt the regional and international political dossiers, underscoring Egypt's position as a cornerstone for security and stability in the Middle East, Africa and the Mediterranean region.
The meeting discussed ways to strengthen frameworks of trilateral cooperation between Egypt and Germany in Africa, in light of Egypt's current chairmanship of the African Union and the G20 Compact with Africa (CwA), which was initiated under the German G20 Presidency in 2017 during their annual meetings in Berlin.
The talks also tackled a multitude of regional and international issues, including ways to enhance counter-terrorism efforts and combat illegal migration.
The discussions also focused on political developments in a number of countries in the region. President Sisi and Chancellor Merkel exchanged views on ways to achieve a peaceful settlement and to fight terrorism in Libya.
On Monday, US President Donald Trump said on his Twitter account he had held a "great meeting" with Sisi on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit held in France's Biarritz.
During the meeting, Trump applauded the level of strategic coordination and consultation with Egypt, highlighting Egypt's key role in the Middle East and its support for efforts to counter terrorism and extremism as well as efforts to reinforce peace and stability in the region, according to an official Egyptian statement.
He confirmed the strategic Egyptian - US relations, saying that the US looks forward to further developing cooperation, noting Egypt's success in implementing the economic reform program and advancing comprehensive development. He confirmed interest in increasing trade and investment between the two countries.
President Sisi, for his part, confirmed the strong and profound strategic relations between the two countries.
He lauded continued progress during the Trump administration, and said that Egypt is keen to continue promoting cooperation frameworks across all fields and continuing coordination and consultation with the US administration on ways to reinforce peace and stability in the Middle East, in light of the crises that the region is facing.
The two presidents also discussed regional and international developments, including the Palestinian case. President Sisi confirmed Egypt's support for all sincere efforts that seek to find a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian case based on international references and resolutions so as to restore stability and open new horizons.
The two presidents agreed on the importance of reaching political solutions to the crises in Libya and Syria. Sisi confirmed that backing the national institutions shall contribute to preserving the unity of countries that suffer from crises and ending the humanitarian plight of the people.
The meeting touched on the issue of counter-terrorism. President Trump expressed his country's full support for Egypt's efforts in this regard. He lauded Egypt's efforts to reinforce the principles and values of tolerance and freedom of worship in the country.
Sisi confirmed the importance of concerted efforts by the international community to curb the threats of terrorism and to prevent terrorist organizations from receiving finances, arms or recruits.
Sisi and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson voiced hope to boost bilateral cooperation in economy, politics, security and tourism.
According to a statement issued by the presidential spokesperson, the two leaders agreed on the importance of exerting the utmost efforts to reach comprehensive political settlements to resolve the crises in the Middle East and achieve the development aspired by the peoples of the region.
President Sisi stressed the necessity of stepping up efforts exerted by the international community to face terrorism via cutting off terrorists from their sources of revenue and stopping providing political cover for them, the statement reported.
For his side, Johnson affirmed his appreciation for Egypt's role in supporting efforts to achieve peace, stability and security in the Middle East.
The Egyptian and French presidents met on Monday, where they discussed developments of the regional and international issues, the Egyptian presidential spokesman said.
President Sisi discussed efforts to revive the Middle East peace process and also the efforts to combat terrorism, extremism, as well as illegal immigration, during his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.
The two leaders exchanged visions around the situation in Libya, the presidential spokesman said, noting that they have agreed on the importance of consolidating joint efforts to settle the Libyan conflict in a way that contributes to eliminating terrorism, protecting the state's national institutions and resources, and limiting foreign intervention.
Macron welcomed President Sisi's participation at the G7 summit, praising the bilateral relations linking Egypt with France, and also the cultural ties between the Egyptian and French peoples.
The French president affirmed his country's keenness to enhance bilateral cooperation and continue developing the bilateral relations, consultation and coordination on political issues of mutual concern.
During the meeting, Sisi and Macron have discussed the economic ties between the two countries and the African-French relations, in light of Egypt's chairmanship of the African Union this year.
President Sisi praised the strong and special bilateral relations with France, which enjoy historic features.
Some photos are courtesy of Reuters, others are courtesy of the Egyptian presidency