Thursday,25 April, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1367, (2 - 8 November 2017)
Thursday,25 April, 2019
Issue 1367, (2 - 8 November 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Cementing ties

During his three-day visit to France President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi signed MoUs worth 400 million euros


Cementing ties
Cementing ties

Combating terrorism was one of the main topics discussed during President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi’s three-day trip to France and was highlighted in the joint press conference held with French President Emmanuel Macron on 24 October, reports Reem Leila. Al-Sisi’s trip took place following the killing of 16 police personal in Egypt’s Western Desert.

Meeting with French Minister of Interior Gérard Collomb, Al-Sisi said cooperation between the two countries in fighting terrorism should be stepped up in the face of the mounting terrorist threat.

France is seeking to limit the flow of refugees from Libya and other southern Mediterranean countries. Egypt has a 1,200-kilometre border with Libya, and halting the cross border infiltration of terrorists along its length is a subject in which France is very interested.

Military and economic cooperation was also high on the agenda of the visit.

Following his meeting with Al-Sisi French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said he would soon visit Egypt at the head of a large delegation of French investors. Al-Sisi also met with the CEOs of leading French companies.

Le Maire told French journalists a day before Al-Sisi’s arrival that the sale of more Rafale combat aircraft to Egypt would be discussed. 

In the last two years several military agreements between the two countries have been concluded, including the sale of 24 Rafale aircraft, a multi-mission frigate and two Mistral warships.

Al-Sisi invited French companies to participate in Egypt’s new mega projects, highlighting investment opportunities in the Suez Canal Development Zone which seeks to maximise the huge potential of the Suez Canal as a gateway between the east and west.

Al-Sisi met with Jean-Bernard Lévy, CEO of Électricité de France (EDF), the state-owned utility company which produces almost 20 per cent of the EU’s electricity output, the vast majority of which comes from nuclear plants. They discussed ways to diversify Egypt’s energy sources. EDF hopes to expand its presence in Egypt in the field of gas exploration and in developing renewable energy.

Al-Sisi signed 16 Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) during the visit with a combined worth of 400 million euros. They include two loan agreements with the French Development Agency (AFD) to restore healthcare centres in five Egyptian governorates and refurbish Alexandria’s East Wastewater Treatment Plant; joint declarations with the AFD to provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Electricity and to support social protection programmes; a loan agreement with AFD to support the Egyptian energy sector; three joint declarations with AFD to fund two solar power plants in Aswan to be built by the three French companies EREN, EDF and Voltalia in cooperation with the Egyptian government; a letter of intent according to which France will supply Egypt with 500 mobile food carts; a declaration of intent between both governments to finance feasibility studies to develop urban transport networks in Mansoura governorate; an MoU between RATP company and Egypt’s National Authority for Tunnels to maintain line one of Cairo’s metro and operate line three and a declaration of intent to establish a French-Egyptian university.

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