Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi will start a European tour on Monday, with Italy as his first destination, followed by the Vatican and France.
In Italy, El-Sisi has a packed schedule, according to presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef.
He will meet Italian President Giorgio Napolitano followed by separate meetings with the President of the Italian Senate, Pietro Grasso, and the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
Accompanying the president are delegations from the ministries of foreign affairs, industry and foreign trade, investment and supply and internal trade.
The meetings will involve discussing ways to strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries along with a number of regional and international issues such as countering terrorism and fighting extremist thought.
El-Sisi will also meet with the executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme and the director general of the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) in Italy.
In addition, he will meet with Italian businessmen, in attempts to increase Italian investment in Egypt.
In the Vatican, El-Sisi will meet with Pope Francis, and the Vatican’s Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.
The visit comes as an appreciation of the Pope’s efforts in advocating for humanitarian and developmental causes as well as his efforts to prevent military intervention in Syria, which are mutual goals with Egypt, according to the presidential spokesman.
On Tuesday, El-Sisi will head to France where he will meet with French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday, as well as separate meetings with the French heads of parliament and senate.
El-Sisi will also meet with French investors, businessmen and representatives of French tourism companies to further increase French investment and tourism in Egypt.
El-Sisi was elected president in June, almost a year after the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.