Egypt's President Sisi in London for meetings with top UK officials

Ahram Online , Wednesday 4 Nov 2015

Sisi and Cameron
Egypt's President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi and British Prime Minster David Cameron holding talks in the UN general assembly meeting in September 2014(Photo: Al Ahram)

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi arrived in London on Wednesday for a three-day visit to hold talks with top British officials.

El-Sisi's schedule includes meetings with British Prime Minister David Cameron and British Secretary of Defence Michael Fallon, according to local media reports.

The Egyptian president is expected to discuss economic and regional issues with Cameron, while the talks with Fallon will cover Egypt's war on terror.

El-Sisi's visit is the first of its kind for an Egyptian president since 2002.

Relations between Egypt and the UK have begun to normalise after they had soured briefly following the ouster of Egyptian Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, with El-Sisi receiving an official invitation from Cameron in June to visit London.

British Ambassador to Egypt John Casson has recently stressed that Egypt  plays a major role in fighting ISIS and extremist teachings on both a governmental and public level, noting that London values its relationship with Cairo, stressing that the UK is the largest foreign investor in Egypt with $25 billion worth of investments since 2010

Casson tweeted on Wednesday that Egyptians should "await a surprise" during El-Sisi’s visit, hinting at the possibility of new partnership deals between the two countries.

In Auguts, the website Newsweek reported that the British government has this year increased its arms deals with Egypt.

The American website said that the official records released by the British government and reported by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) showed that London in the first three months of 2015 approved military licences to Egypt for "components of military combat vehicles" worth £48.8 million ($76.3 million).

These figures represent a 3,000 percent increase year-on-year in the value of military deals between the two countries. According to Newsweek, in the first quarter of 2014 military deals between both countries were worth £1.6 million ($2.4 million). A number of arms export licences were suspended by the UK in 2013 after the ouster of Morsi.

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