France appreciates Egypt’s pivotal role as a main pillar for security and stability in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, France’s defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi at a Cairo meeting on Sunday.
Egyptian presidency spokesman Alaa Youssef said the meeting, also attended by Egypt’s defence minister Sedki Sobhi, witnessed a discussion on the latest developments in the region including the Syrian and Libyan civil conflicts.
The Egyptian president stressed on importance of joint international efforts to reach political solutions for these crises.
El-Sisi also praised the strategic partnership between Egypt and France, especially in the military field, and agreed with the French defence minister that the two countries should intensify ongoing efforts to combat terrorism.
Le Drian stressed that Egypt was one of France’s most important partners among the Middle East and Mediterranean countries.
Earlier this month, Egypt raised its flag atop a Mistral-class warship that Cairo bought from France in 2015.
The ship is the second of its kind sold by France to Egypt, with the first – named after late Egyptian president Gamal Abdel-Nasser – delivered in June to Alexandria from the French city of Toulouse.
The contract for the two Mistral aircraft carriers, which was finalised in September last year, was valued at 950 million euros, according to AFP.
The deal is part of several defence contracts Egypt has signed with France, with the European country now topping the list of countries that have signed military supply agreements with Egypt during the term of President El-Sisi.