France's Le Pen hails Egypt's battle against 'extremism'

AFP , Sunday 31 May 2015

Marine Le Pen
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen (Photo: Reuters)

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen on Sunday praised the fight against "extremism" launched by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was ousted in July 2013 after mass protests against his turbulent year-long rule.

A subsequent crackdown on Morsi supporters has seen hundreds killed and thousands jailed while militant attacks across the country have also claimed the lives of hundreds of police and army soldiers. 

Under Sisi's guidance, Egypt launched air strikes in neighbouring Libya in February on fighters belonging to the Islamic State militant group, which has carried out attacks on Egyptian security forces in the Sinai peninsula.

"President Sisi is one of the leaders who has the clearest message against extremism," Le Pen told reporters during a visit to Cairo.

"The choice for the National Front is clear: to support countries fighting against fundamentalism, first and foremost Egypt," she said referring to her party.

The far-right leader said that Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, which is blacklisted in Egypt, shared a similar ideology to that of IS.

During her visit to Cairo, Le Pen also met Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and Ahmed El-Tayeb, grand imam of top Sunni Muslim body Al-Azhar, who used their meeting to voice concern over what he said was the National Front's "hostile positions towards Islam and Muslims".

*This article has been edited by Ahram Online 

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