French President Emmanuel Macron was clear that interference in countries’ domestic affairs will bring “devastating effects” on the interfering states, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told Egypt Today on Thursday.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and his counterpart Macron have unified visions on what is being circulated on Egypt’s human rights record, added Shoukry; noting that Sisi has emphasized that his country is open to developing the Egyptian society’s abilities and to enhancing its freedoms.
During his four-day official visit to Paris, Sisi held a bilateral meeting with Macron on Tuesday and discussed cooperation in economics, military, education, travel, and counter-terrorism. Subsequently, a press conference was held where they witnessed the signing of a number of memoranda of understanding (MoUs) and agreements, worth €400 million ($472 million), in a bid to boost bilateral cooperation between both countries.
At the press conference, Macron said that everyone can talk about human rights in Paris; however, when you are in a different country you have to be aware of this country’s conditions and the challenges it is facing. Talking about Egypt, the French president explained that there are three dimensions of the human rights framework in Egypt, including combating terrorism, terrorist groups, and violent radicalism. “We shall never forget that framework,” Macron stressed.
“The press conference highlighted the development of the Egyptian-French relations and reflects the unified visions in tackling regional and international issues of mutual concerns,” Shoukry continued.
Both countries have had significant relations for a long time over various French administrations, and President Macron and his cabinet have the desire to further enhance bilateral ties, Shoukry said.
During his visit in Paris, Sisi held a number of meetings with the head of the French National Assembly (the lower house of Parliament), the head of the French Senate, Foreign Minister Jean Yves Laudrian, and Prime Minister Édouard Philippe.
Sisi also met with a number of French businessmen to boost economic cooperation with the French side, since France is the biggest investor in Egypt with €3.5 billion ($4.1 billion) worth of investments; making it the seventh biggest importer to Egypt. Meanwhile, there are 160 French corporations operating on Egyptian soil; employing more than 30,000 Egyptians in all fields.
Sisi’s visit is the first official one to the Elysee Palace since Macron took office and the third to France. In November 2014, the Egyptian president paid an official visit for three days, during which he met with former President François Hollande. In November 2015, Sisi attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21, in Paris.