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Egypt’s parliament approves defence loan ‎agreement with France

MPs said the loan was necessary to help ‎Egypt's armed forces fight terrorism in North Sinai

Gamal Essam El-Din , Wednesday 2 Mar 2016
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
File photo: French President Francois Hollande welcomes Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as he arrives at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Nov. 26, 2014. (Reuters)
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Egypt's new ‎parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of a defence loan agreement ‎with France, aiming to boost ‎the powers of the former country’s armed forces. ‎

A parliamentary report explained that the ‎agreement is between Egypt's ‎defence ministry and a number of French banks led by ‎Credit Agricole for Companies and Investment.

‎‎"These banks will provide a cash loan of ‎‎3375.54 million euros, representing 60 per ‎cent of the value of French military equipment ‎that will be delivered to Egypt," the ‎report stated.

"The total value of ‎this equipment is estimated at 5625.9 million ‎euros, with Egypt to pay the remaining 40 ‎per cent," the report also revealed.

The loan will be guaranteed by ‎Egypt's finance ministry.‎

Spokespersons from most political parties in the parliament said that MPs approved the loan agreement, ‎stating that it is be necessary to boost the military powers of Egypt's army.‎

Alaa Abed, the spokesman of the liberal Free ‎Egyptians Party, said that the party has high hopes that ‎the agreement would help the armed forces do ‎its job fighting terrorism in North Sinai and ‎safeguard the country's borders.‎

Sameh Seif Al-Yazal, an MP and a former intelligence ‎officer, said that "as far as I know this equipment ‎aims to beef up the army's powers against ‎terrorist groups in the Sinai peninsula."‎

Saad Al-Gammal, an independent MP, thanked ‎France for stepping up cooperation with Egypt ‎in areas of defence.‎

Meanwhile, many MPs from the ‎border governorates of North Sinai and ‎Matrouh urged the parliament to send delegations ‎to visit the two governorates inorder to listen to the ‎needs of the people living there

MP Nemaat ‎Rashad said "Sinai is going through hard times ‎and every day a police or army ‎officer is being killed at the hands of terrorists. ‎Parliament should hurry up and send a ‎delegation to Sinai to explore what is going on ‎there."‎

The parliament’s speaker Ali Abdel-Al approved ‎three parliamentary delegations to visit the ‎governorates of North Sinai, Matrouh, ‎and the Red Sea.

"These delegations must ‎compile reports on what is going on Egypt's ‎eastern, western and southern borders," ‎Abdel-Al said. ‎

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Al
02-03-2016 08:06pm
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Government and Parliament on same page
It is a very good thing when the government and parliament of a country are on the same page, it’s usually more productive and efficient in running the country. However in the case of Egypt it’s a major risk; they are on the same page of incompetence. Who in his right mind would approve a loan of $ 7 billion, crippling Egypt’s economy even further, and for WHAT? To buy more arms in a time of peace!! Many think Sisi is incompetent, but it’s much worse than that; he is conspiring with the army, and now the parliament, to bankrupt and sabotage the Egyptian economy. How are they going to pay back this loan, let alone the interests? Are they going to put the newly found gas fields as collaterals?
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