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Sisi discusses economic cooperation, terrorism with German officials in Berlin

Ahram Online , Tuesday 13 Jun 2017
President Sisi during a meeting with German Economic Minister Brigitte Zypries on Monday 12 June (Photo: Al-Ahram Arabic website)
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Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi told a German minister that terrorism cannot be fought only with military and security methods but rather its sources must be eliminated, especially those countries that provide it with financial and political support.

Speaking to German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel in Berlin on Tuesday, El-Sisi added that it is also necessary to destroy the theoretical bases of terrorism through developing education and correcting religious discourse to enhance the tolerant values of religions, state news agency MENA cited Alaa Youssef, the presidential spokesperson, as saying.

El-Sisi is in Berlin to participate in the G20 Africa Partnership conference on Monday and Tuesday. The conference highlights business and investment opportunities in Africa; the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund participated in the event, as did several other African heads of state.

This is the second time the president has visited Berlin in his official capacity; his first visit was in 2015.

El-Sisi also stressed that Egypt is continuing in the fight against terrorism at all levels--military, security, political, and ideological--while he renewed his call for the international community to take decisive action on the financing of terrorism.

This came in another meeting on Tuesday with Volker Kauder, the parliamentary leader of the ruling CDU party in the German Bundestag, where El-Sisi also stressed the importance of bilateral cooperation in dealing with common challenges, such as the flow of refugees and irregular immigrants, Youssef said in separate statement.

El-Sisi also presented the latest economic developments in Egypt in his meeting with Kauder, mentioning the ongoing implementation of the economic reform programme which aims to resolve structural imbalances within the economy.

El-Sisi and Gabriel also discussed a number of regional and international issues, including Qatar and Libya, while El-Sisi praised the strong German-Egyptian bilateral relations, confirming Egypt's keenness on consolidating and upgrading these bilateral relations, Youssef added.    

Both El-Sisi and Kauder discussed ways to develop bilateral relations in the fields of education and professional and technical training, and through the partnership between Germany and Africa, through the German initiative of the G20. El-Sisi highlighted the importance of finding new and sustainable financial mechanisms that can achieve a developmental renaissance on the continent.

According to the Egyptian statement Kauder praised the burgeoning relations between Egypt and Germany in recent years, stressing his country's interest  in the ongoing consolidation of relations with Egypt, especially at the economic level, while also praising the steps Egypt has taken towards achieving stability in the region, and its efforts in combating terrorism.  

El-Sisi met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel  on Monday, where he stressed  the need for intensifying international resolve in the face of countries that fund and support terrorism, adding that a strong message should be directed toward these countries if the international community wants to completely eradicate terrorism.

The two leaders also discussed developments in the situation with Qatar one week after a number of Arab and Muslim countries decided to boycott the Gulf state over its “terrorist ties.”

In March, Merkel visited Egypt for talks with the president and to inaugurate a mega-project led by Siemens.

On Monday, Egypt signed three economic agreements with Germany, worth 203 million euros, covering renewable energy, education, irrigation and small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Egypt and Germany have strengthened economic and political ties in the past few years.

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