Egypt, France officials discuss regional developments, bilateral ties

MENA , Tuesday 8 Jun 2021

Deputy Foreign Minister for African Affairs Hamdy Loza in his meeting with Chairperson of the National Defense and Armed Forces Committee at the French National Assembly Françoise Dumas and MP Gwendal Rouillard in Cairo on Tuesday (Photo: Egyptian Foreign Ministry)

Egypt's Deputy Foreign Minister for African Affairs Hamdy Loza discussed at a meeting in Cairo on Tuesday with Chairperson of the National Defense and Armed Forces Committee at the French National Assembly Françoise Dumas and MP Gwendal Rouillard the significant progress in Egyptian-French ties and a number of regional and international issues of mutual concern.

During the meeting, the two sides exchanged views on the developments in Libya, Syria and the Palestinian territories, as well as the Sahel region.

For their part, the two French MPs lauded great efforts exerted by Egypt to reach a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, as well as the initiative launched by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on the reconstruction of the enclave and offering humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people.

They also probed the latest updates related to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) crisis. Loza reviewed Egypt's stance on the necessity of reaching a legally binding agreement on filling and operating the dam, without harming the rights and interests of the three Nile Basin countries concerned; namely Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.

Le Maire's visit

Earlier Tuesday also Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat discussed with a delegation from the French finance ministry the final details of a new financing package meant to fund priority development projects in several sectors from 2021 through 2025.

The new package comes in culmination of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s visit to France last December, which has given a strong push to relations between the two countries.

The meeting also touched on preparations for the visit of French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire to Egypt, scheduled for June 12-13. The French minister is set to meet with Mashat and a number of Egyptian officials for talks on fields of joint cooperation.

In a statement released Tuesday, Mashat said the new financing package is due to be directed to projects in the transport field, the housing sector, the electricity field and wholesale markets in accordance with the Egyptian government priorities and sustainable development goals.

Mashat emphasised the strength of strategic cooperation relations between Egypt and France, noting in this regard that development financing documents worth €715.6 million were signed during President Sisi’s visit to France last December.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly held as well a meeting earlier Tuesday with Supply and Internal Trade Minister Ali Moselhi, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait and Mashat, in which he discussed and reviewed the joint projects and the various avenues of cooperation, especially in economic domains between Egypt and France.

The premier said that the meeting aimed to outline a package of projects to be implemented jointly by both countries, stressing the government's keenness to continue providing support and creating a favorable business climate for foreign investments in addition to increasing investment opportunities in Egypt in line with directives by President El-Sisi.

Cabinet spokesman Nader Saad said the meeting took up a number of proposed joint projects covering the sectors of electricity, energy, transport, wholesale markets, housing, sanitation and aviation.

According to official numbers, the current cooperation portfolio between Egypt and France amounts to €1 billion.

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