Sarkozy to give Egypt's Sawiris highest Badge of Honor

Ahram Online, Saturday 31 Mar 2012

For the second time, France will grant its highest national honor badge to Egypt's prominent business tycoon

French president Nicola Sarkozy grants Egyptian telecommunications tycoon Naguib Sawiris France's highest badge of honor, the Honor Choir, in recognition of his "efforts and contributions in promoting the cooperation between Egypt and France in the fields of industry, development and community service."

Sawiris will be awarded the Honor Choir's highest badge "Commander" on Monday, by the spokesperson of the French government and minister of budget Valerie Pecresse.

Sawiris was previously granted the Honor Choir badge with the title "Officer" in 2007 by former French president Jacques Chirac.

Sawiris has strong business links in France. Major French telecommunications enterprise had jointly owned Egypt's telecom operator Mobinil with Sawiris, before announcing a buyout deal for most of Sawiris's shares last February.

Sawiris, one of Egypt's most prominent business figures, took on politics upon the January 25 uprising which toppled president Hosni Mubarak in February. Sawiris co-founded the liberal Free Egyptians Party and advocated Coptic issues, being a Copt himeself.

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