President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi affirmed Sunday, in a meeting with his Tunisian counterpart Béji Caïd Essebsi, the need enhance efforts to counter terrorism.
The visit marks the Tunisian president’s first to Egypt since being elected last year.
Al-Sisi affirmed the close relations between the two countries, and praised the results of the15th Egyptian-Tunisian High Committee meeting in Tunisia last month, which was attended by former prime minister Ibrahim Mehleb, who signed 16 agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs). The programmes signed covered numerous sectors, including research, health, economics, and media. During Mehleb’s visit, Essebsi accepted an invitation from President Al-Sisi to visit Egypt.
During the Sunday meeting, the two presidents also discussed the importance of using religious discourse in the fight against extremist ideology. They also condemned the recent ‘violations’ in Al-Aqsa Mosque, which has been witnessing heavy clashes between Palestinians and Israeli settlers.
As for the situation in Libya, the two presidents expressed their hopes to see a “peace agreement” between disputing sides. They also hoped to see a “political solution” in Syria, through which the demands of the Syrian people are achieved.
Essebsi, 88, was declared winner in December 2014 of the run-off presidential elections in Tunisia, over his opponent, interim president Moncef Marzouki. After his victory, Al-Sisi confirmed Egypt’s full support for Tunisia and its willingness to enhance cooperation between the two countries. Al-Sisi added that he hopes for “a new era of solidarity and Arab co-operation”.
Essebsi held top positions under former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and his predecessor Habib Bourguiba. He was an interim prime minister after the revolution, but remained in office for only approximately 10 months before new interim president Marzouki took over after being elected, and appointed a prime minister from the then-dominant Islamist party Ennahda.