Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar left Cairo for Germany on Sunday evening, in an official visit that will last for several days, according to state-run newspaper Al-Ahram.
The visit comes in response to German minister of interior Thomas de Maizière’s recent visit to Egypt in March, in which he addressed both countries’ cooperation in security, counter-terrorism, airport security, and immigration.
During Abdel Ghaffar’s visit, he will discuss ways to enhance the security cooperation between Egypt and Germany with his German counterpart and other high-level security officials. The cooperation mainly focuses on exchanging information and expertise in cracking down on terrorist organisations, securing airports, and combating illegal immigration.
During de Maizière’s visit he met with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and delivered a speech at Al-Azhar University, after receiving an invitation from Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb, to speak about religious tolerance.
The German government recently expressed its concerns about human rights conditions in Egypt in an official statement issued by the German foreign office. The statement came following the reopening of investigations into the “NGOs’ foreign funding” case, which brought a number of Egypt’s most renowned human rights defenders to prosecution.
“We are following the latest travel bans, bank account freezes, and investigations against human rights activists and organisations in Egypt with great concern,” read the statement from the German foreign office.
The statement stressed that recent moves by Egyptian authorities violate both international human rights standards and the Egyptian constitution.
The German government called on the Egyptian government to “create” conditions in which human rights groups can perform their work unhindered.
The foreign funding case dates back to December 2011, when prosecutors, backed by the police, stormed the offices of 17 local and international NGOs, including the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, and Freedom House, as part of a probe into the NGOs’ allegedly receiving illegal foreign funding.