Hollande arrives in Egypt accompanied by vast delegation of MPs and businesspersons

Daily News Egypt
3 Min Read

The French president François Hollande arrived in Egypt on Sunday accompanied by a delegation of members of parliament and businesspersons to address regional security, military aid, and potential tourism projects.

The two-day visit is Hollande’s second to Egypt during his time in office. It is expected that 30 agreements will be signed as well as a joint declaration to enforce cooperation in several economic fields, with a particular focus on energy and tourism.

The Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi will hold a press conference with his French counterpart on Sunday to present the results of the joint discussions and signed agreements.

Hollande will hold meetings with Egyptian and French business delegations. However, the visit will also address political relations between the countries.

“The French president will meet the Egyptian president, the prime minister and the speaker of the House to discuss several political issues, particularly regional issues,” the French ambassador to Cairo André Parant said in a press conference earlier.

Both sides will discuss regional conflict in the Middle East, especially the French initiative for peace in the Middle East, in addition to counter-terrorism efforts.

According to the French ambassador, cultural agreements will also be signed between the two countries in addition to agreements in the field of professional training.

“This visit is great progress for our strategic relations with Egypt,” Parant said.

The ambassador added that the two countries seek to encourage French tourists to visit Egypt and that there is interest from both sides to support Egyptian tourism.

“Both countries desire the development of French investments in Egypt in the coming period,” said the ambassador. “The trade exchange between Egypt and France currently amounts to €2.5bn annually.”

Military cooperation between both countries has also been augmented.  Egypt will receive two Mistral-class assault warships during the first half of 2016, the French ambassador said in a press conference last year.

France has already delivered three Dassault Rafale jets and is set to deliver another three jets within weeks. Egypt received three of these fighter jets from France in July, the first of 24 warplanes sold in a €5.2bn ($5.6bn) deal earlier in 2015.

France and Egypt have been cooperating to address climate change in Africa since last year’s climate change conference in Paris.

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