Sisi, Macron discuss Ukraine, COP27 and regional security

Amr Kandil , Thursday 5 May 2022

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi discussed with French President Emmanuel Macron developments in the Ukraine crisis as well as Egypt’s scheduled hosting of the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in November.

File photo of French President Emmanuel Macron welcoming Egypt s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at t
File photo of French President Emmanuel Macron welcoming Egypt s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at the Elys e Palace in October 2017. AFP


This comes especially in light of the prominent role of Egypt and France regarding climate and environment issues, Egyptian Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement.

El-Sisi discussed regional and international issues with Macron in a phone call on Thursday and congratulated the French president on winning the latest elections.

Macron won a second five-year presidential term with 58.5 percent of the vote against far-right rival Marine Le Pen during the run-off on 24 April, becoming the first French president to be reelected in 20 years.

Macron thanked El-Sisi affirming his keenness to continue enhancing their coordination and consultation on issues of mutual concern and on regional and international developments.

France is also committed to continue strengthening cooperation with Egypt in various fields and supporting El-Sisi’s tireless efforts in achieving sustainable development, the statement cited Macron as saying.

He also reiterated France’s commitment to back the Egyptian role in preserving peace and security and consolidating stability at the regional and international levels.

For his part, El-Sisi reiterated the importance that Egypt attaches to fostering strategic cooperation with France at all levels and intensifying consultations and coordination with France in the future on the various political, security, military and economic issues of mutual concern.

The Egyptian president affirmed that this would help to preserve security and stability in the Middle East, the Mediterranean Basin, and Africa.

The two presidents discussed issues of bilateral cooperation between Egypt and France and agreed on bolstering the strategic relations binding the two countries at all levels, the spokesman said.

This is the second official phone call between the two presidents since Macron was reelected.

In a phone call on the day of reelection on 24 April, El-Sisi congratulated Macron, hailing the “close, growing, and historical” relations between Egypt and France. El-Sisi also expressed his aspiration to continue consultations and mutual coordination on regional and international files of common interest.

Cairo and Paris share warm bilateral relations and consistent visions regarding a number of regional issues, including the Libyan crisis, and coordinate on global challenges such as counter-terrorism and irregular migration.

France has sizable investments in Egypt, with about 160 French companies operating in the Egyptian market in various fields.

According to the French Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, the volume of French investments in Egypt exceeds €5 billion. The volume of trade exchange between the two countries amounted to $3 billion in 2020 – up by 20 percent from 2019.

Furthermore, France has invested €4.6 billion in Egyptian infrastructure projects, including €800 million in government loans, €1 billion from the French Development Agency and €2 billion in bank loans guaranteed by the French state.

Cairo and Paris also share financial interests that included massive arms deals. Between 2016 and 2020, French arms sales to Egypt increased by 44 percent, compared to the period between 2011 and 2015. 

Egypt is the second largest customer of French arms after India, with military purchases focused on Rafale jets and advanced electronic surveillance systems.

In the wake of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, Egypt in April called on France, as current president of the European Union Council, to provide economic and political support to help Egypt mitigate the impacts of the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Later on the same month, the EU announced that it will provide Egypt with a grant worth €100 million in response to the surging food prices on the heels of the global crisis.

Moreover, France and Egypt share similar priorities regarding climate change, manufacturing of electric cars and the localisation of green hydrogen industry, said France’s Ambassador to Cairo Marc Baréty in December.

Egypt is preparing to host COP27 in the Red Sea resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh next November while coordinating with international partners on the preparations for the conference.

Egypt has repeatedly affirmed that it will work through COP27 to enhance international action against climate change at all levels to achieve the goals of the Paris agreement and will highlight the need for securing funding to help developing nations with mitigation and adaptation efforts.

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