Egypt's Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal (R) shakes hands with Jean-Jacques Bridey, president of the Defence Committee of the French National Assembly (L) during the French official's visit to Cairo (Photo: Khaled Mashaal)
Speaker of Egypt's parliament Ali Abdel-Aal held a meeting Sunday with a French parliamentary delegation led by Jean-Jacques Bridey, president of the Defence Committee of the French National Assembly (lower house parliament).
A press statement said the meeting focused on historic relations between Egypt and France at all levels.
"The meeting comes within the context of an exchange of visits between officials and parliamentarians in the two countries in recent months in order to reach coordination on a series of important issues related to both Egypt and France," the statement said.
According to the statement, speaker Abdel-Aal highlighted the role Egypt is playing to help keep Europe secure against the threats of terrorism and illegal migration.
"Speaker Abdel-Aal also discussed the growing military relations between Egypt and France, issues related to Palestine and Syria, and the importance of Egypt and France coordinating their positions on these issues in international institutions such as the United Nations," the statement said.
Bridey said he is currently in Egypt to attend Egypt's Defence Expo, scheduled to be inaugurated by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi Monday.
"Military relations between Egypt and France have intensified in the recent two years, and I can say that these relations have become strategic," Bridey said, indicating that he was keen to meet Abdel-Aal during his current visit to Egypt.
Bridey said street demonstrations which swept the French capital this week first began as "an exercise in freedom of speech".
"We respect the right of freedom of expression, but it is regrettable that demonstrators were involved in committing some acts of sabotage," Bridey said, adding: "The government and parliament in France are keen to listen to all views and complaints."
Bridey insisted that France will go on implementing its economic reforms, "because these are necessary in order for the country to recover its leading roles at both the European and international levels."
Bridey highly praised Egypt's economic reform programme, agreeing that it helped the country move forward on the road of development and progress.
The meeting was attended by parliament's secretary-general Ahmed Saadeddin, head of parliament's defence committee Kamal Amer, head of the foreign relations committee Karim Darwish, and head of the Egyptian-French Parliamentary Friendship Association Ayman Abul-Ela.