Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi has met with several French politicians and Egyptian businessmen as part of his recent visit to Paris.
On Wednesday, he met with Eric Trappier, CEO of Dassault Aviation, which manufactures Rafale jets.
Egyptian Presidency Spokesperson Bassam Rady said that the meeting dealt with various aspects of fruitful cooperation with Dassault. This cooperation comes in light of its long-standing experiences in the military industries that depend on the latest technological and technical systems.
Trappier expressed pride in his company’s cooperation with Egypt in the field of security and defence industries. He also noted his keenness to continue and promote joint cooperation with the country, with the aim of supporting Egypt’s balanced and rational role. He added that Egypt’s actions are in favour of stability and security in the Middle East.
President Al-Sisi highlighted the challenges facing the region, which in turn requires commitment to support capabilities and use the latest technological systems in the field of security and defence equipment. It is a strategic approach that Egypt is committed to, which will result in the stability and security of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.
Rady cited the praise of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for Egypt’s economic successes and achievements.
President Al-Sisi affirmed that Egypt could not have achieved its economic successes without the great support of “the Egyptian people who contributed directly to supporting the state’s will to implement economic reform measures.”
He explained that Egypt’s continued strong economic performance would make it a beacon, attracting investments. It will also ensure that Egypt can act as a pole for development in its regional environment and even worldwide.
The meeting also discussed the process of fruitful cooperation between Egypt and France, where the most prominent areas of work with various relevant Egyptian ministries and institutions were reviewed. This includes: science; technology and innovation; public policy; economic stability; monitoring and structural reform; and sustainable development.
During his visit, President Al-Sisi also met with French Prime Minister Jean Castex in Paris, to discuss means of boosting relations between the two countries. This will focus on the fields of mega national projects, defence and security.
The meeting also tackled cooperation between Cairo and Paris in the areas of services, energy, transport, education, health, culture, tourism and antiquities, Rady said.
Castex voiced his appreciation for the historic ties binding Egypt and France, and said that the French government is keen to increase its investments in Egypt in order to support development projects there.
Castex also lauded the great national projects which have been implemented in Egypt during the era of President Al-Sisi, and which have been completed in record time. He expressed hope that economic and trade cooperation between the two countries would increase in the coming period.
Al-Sisi termed France as one of the most important partners to Egypt in Europe, and called on French businessmen to make use of the investment opportunities available in Egypt.
The meeting also tackled several issues of mutual concern, topped by the Libyan and Syrian crises, and the Palestinian issue.
During an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro, Al-Sisi said that there are 55,000 civil society organisations in Egypt, some of whom work to support the country in protecting human rights.
He also added that the state seeks to establish the necessary balance between human rights on the one hand, and security challenges and counterterrorism on the other.
Al-Sisi said the economic reform programme that began in 2016 has allowed for a balance to be maintained, between the continuation of reforms and absorbing the restrictions imposed by the health crisis caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Al-Sisi added, “We achieved a growth rate of more than 3.6% during 2020, and the Egyptian government has allocated large sums to develop the health and education sectors, with an injection of nearly €6bn to respond to the urgent needs of basic sectors such as tourism and family support.”
He said that the River Nile is vital to Egypt, and that the dispute with Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has extended for a long time. He highlighted that the dam represents a source of legitimate development for Ethiopia, yet filling it unilaterally in violation of the principles and rules of international law threatens the water supply for Egypt’s population.
“We remain committed to a fair legal solution and to reach an agreement that is binding on all parties,” he added.
Al-Sisi said that Egypt has always advocated and continues to work towards a just and comprehensive settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.