Complexity of situation in Middle East requires more cooperation between Egypt and France, Sisi tells FM Le Drian

Ahram Online , Sunday 29 Apr 2018

President Sisi meets with French PM Le Drian in Cairo, 29 April 2018 (Photo: Egyptian presidency)

The complexity of the situation in the Middle East calls for continued coordination between Egypt and France, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi told France's Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian during a meeting in Cairo on Sunday, according to a statement by the Egyptian presidency.

El-Sisi apprised Le Drian about the efforts being exerted by Egypt to combat terrorism, which El-Sisi described as "humanity's number one enemy," the statement read.

The meeting was attended by Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, acting Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel and the French envoy to Cairo.

The Egyptian president stressed the importance of continued work to upgrade cooperation between the two countries, as well as the exchange of visits by senior officials to strengthen bilateral relations, especially in the field of combating terrorism.

Le Drian conveyed to El-Sisi greetings from Macron, and expressed his country's appreciation for the special relations it shares with Egypt, saying Paris considers Cairo one of its most important partners in the region.

El-Sisi and Le Drian discussed the ongoing crises in a number of countries in the region, including developments in Libya and Syria.

The Egyptian president and the French FM agreed that there has been relative progress in Libya, and stressed the need to hold elections in the country before the end of the year, especially given that the situation in Libya affects the security and stability of the Mediterranean region, according to the statement.

On Syria, El-Sisi reiterated Egypt's stance that the Syrian crisis should be solved through a political settlement to ensure the unity of Syrian territory and meet the wishes of the Syrian people while alleviating human suffering.

Last week, El-Sisi expressed to French president Macron his concern about “military escalation” in Syria, referring to the recent strikes by the US, the UK, and France against Syrian government targets.

Macron told El-Sisi that the strikes came within the framework of international legitimacy and were a response to the use of banned chemical weapons in Syria.

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