Egypt’s parliament approves defence loan ‎agreement with France

Gamal Essam El-Din , Wednesday 2 Mar 2016

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

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)

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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