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Egypt's defence minister arrives in France for military cooperation talks

Sedki Sobhi is expected to meet with senior French officials to discuss the latest developments in the Middle East and means of military cooperation between the two countries

Ahram Online , Monday 22 Jun 2015
Sedki Sobhi
Egypt's defense minister Sedki Sobhi heading to France on Monday June 22, 2015 (Photo: courtesy of military spokesperson Mohamed Samir)
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Egypt's Defence Minister Sedki Sobhi arrived on Monday to the French capital Paris heading a military delegation on an official visit where it is expected that they will discuss military cooperation between the two countries, the Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported.  

The visit would mark Sobhi's first visit to the French capital since he was appointed as Egypt's defence minister in March 2014.

Sobhi is expected to meet with senior military officials in France to discuss bilateral relations and cooperation between both countries, regional and international issues of common interest and the latest developments in the Middle East.

Paris and Cairo have enjoyed close economic ties in the past but turmoil in Egypt since president Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in 2011 left Western governments wary of signing deals, especially in defence.

In February, Egypt announced a 5.2 billion euro deal to buy 24 French Rafale jet fighters.

Also in February, Egypt signed a contract with the French company VINCI Bouygues Travaux Public to complete the construction of the fourth phase of the third metro line in Cairo.

The French government will provide Egypt with 172 million euros ($214.4 million) in a concessional loan for the construction of the metro line, to be repaid in 53 years, with a 20-year grace period at an annual interest rate of 0.1 percent. 

France funded the construction of Egypt's three existent metro lines, which were built between 1979 and 2012, with loans amounting to approximately €1.2 billion.

French officials from the country’s Development Agency that attended Egypt’s economic development conference in Sharm El-Sheikh in March announced that the agency will provide a 40 million Euro sovereign loan to finance a power plant in Kom Ombo in Upper Egypt.

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