El-Sisi, Hollande discuss combating terrorism

Ahram Online, Wednesday 26 Nov 2014

Terrorism focus of talks with Egyptian and French presidents

France visit
French President Francois Hollande, right, poses with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi during a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. Sissi is in France for a two-day official visit (Photo: AP)

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and French President Francois Hollande met on Wednesday to discuss challenges facing the Arab region and the threat of international terrorism.

On his first visit to Europe since he was elected president, El-Sisi discussed with his French counterpart the threat of terrorism both inside Egypt and from neighbouring countries.

The two presidents stressed at a press conference their concern over the growing threat of terrorism in Libya, with El-Sisi highlighting the need to support the Libyan government and army.

They also highlighted the importance of reaching a two state solution for Palestinians and Israelis through negotiations.

Hollande hailed El-Sisi's efforts in negotiations concerning the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

Cairo hosted an international conference to rebuild Gaza in October during which $3 billion in aid was raised.

El-Sisi also added that the two politicians agreed that a political solution is needed to end the Syrian crisis.

Both France and Egypt are part of a US-led coalition which is launching airstrikes against Islamic State fighters. France took part in the strikes, while Egypt has not officially announced any participation but said it was committed to giving support to the alliance.

Speaking of bilateral relations, Hollande encouraged furthering cultural cooperation between the two countries. He said that France will be receiving more Egyptian students and academics.

Meanwhile, in terms of tourism, El-Sisi assured in a message to France and other European countries that Egypt is safe to visit.

El-Sisi started a European tour on Monday, first visiting Italy and the Vatican before he headed to France.

El-Sisi was elected president in June, almost a year after the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

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