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Egypt, France should coordinate on Libya to stop terrorists from exploiting the country's instability: French FM

Ahram Online , Thursday 8 Jun 2017
 Jean-Yves Le Drian and Shoukry
France's FM Jean-Yves Le Drian and Egypt's FM Sameh Shoukry (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egypt and France should increase their coordination on Libya, as terrorists groups who exploit the ongoing instability in the country threaten both Egyptian and European security, France's Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian told Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry during a press conference after the two held talks in Cairo on Thursday.

Le Drian agreed with Shoukry on the need for reaching a political solution in the war-torn country. 

The French minister also agreed with Shoukry's statements that an accord between the rival factions should be prioritised over a political agreement at this stage, and that this could be achieved through meetings of those factions hosted by Cairo.

According to Shoukry, the meetings held so far with the Libyan parties have demonstrated a desire all around for solutions that would help the country restore its stability, sovereignty and aspirations, and defeat the terrorist groups that have seized Libyan territory.

This is the French minister's first visit in his current post since President Emmanuel Macron was sworn into office in May. 

Le Drian visited Egypt before as defence minister under president Francis Hollande (2012-2017), where he met several Egyptian officials including Defence Minister Sedki Sobhi and other top military officials.

The French minister is set to meet during his two day visit Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark. 

Shoukry said his discussions with Le Drian focused on relations between Cairo and Paris, and how the two countries could work together to support French investments and consolidate economic gains in Egypt under ongoing economic reforms.

Shoukry said he and his counterpart agreed to deal with issues clearly and through direct talks, in accordance with the strong friendship between their countries. He affirmed Egypt's commitment to working together on several regional and international issues to achieve the interests of both parties.

Le Drian said he was keen to visit Egypt to bolster relations, delivering a message from the newly sworn-in Macron of companionship and support for Cairo's economic reforms and solidarity in fighting terrorism.

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