On Tuesday, Egyptian officials held a number of meetings that aimed at increasing military cooperation with different countries to counter terrorism.
French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian arrived in Egypt and met with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, Minister of Defence Sedki Sobhi, and Minister of Military Production Mohamed Al-Assar for military talks.
In his meeting with Le Drian, the Egyptian president praised France’s efforts in the military field, depicting it as unprecedented military cooperation that occurred recently between both countries.
Al-Sisi honored Le Drian with the Order of the Nile medal, Egypt’s highest decoration.
Sobhi, Al-Assar, and France’s ambassador to Egypt attended the meeting.
During the meeting, Al-Sisi asserted the distinctiveness of Egyptian-French relations, especially in the military field, referring to the recent intensification of their cooperation.
Al-Sisi further praised the French minister’s keenness to enhance cooperation between their countries in the military field, asserting the importance of coordination and consultation between the two sides in order to meet common challenges, particularly in ways to counter the surge of terrorism that is currently threatening the world.
On his side, Le Drian conveyed to Al-Sisi the greetings of French president Francois Hollande, who values the recent cooperation and mutual trust between the two sides, which contributed to unprecedented levels of bilateral relations and made Egypt one of the France’s main partners in the Middle East.
The French minster also expressed deep appreciation of Al-Sisi for granting him the Order of the Nile medal, and he stressed that his country will continue to support Egypt’s pivotal role in the region, putting in consideration that Egypt is a fundamental pillar of security and stability in the region. He also added France aims to reach a political solution for the regional crises.
He also referred to his country’s keenness to continue to enhance bilateral cooperation with Egypt in the military and security fields in order to achieve the common interests of the two countries.
The meeting mainly focused on a number of topics related to military and security relations between the two countries, as both agreed to continue in this area. The meeting reviewed the latest developments in the regional crises, in addition to international efforts to combat terrorism.
Al-Sisi asserted the importance of the international community’s efforts to counter terrorism and take firm and strict decisions to stop funds reaching terrorist organisations.
Both the French minister and Al-Assar agreed that France will continue providing military assistance to Egypt in order to confront terrorism. This meeting took place in the ministry’s headquarters.
The French minister asserted that the strength of Egypt is important to achieve stability in the region and therefore France will remain a supporter of Egypt. He also said there is a common determination between Egypt and France to fight terrorism.
“France is committed to Egypt’s security and the security of the entire region from threats of terrorism,” Le Drian said.
As for Le Drian’s meeting with Sobhi, both exchanged visions for the latest developments in the region and the impacts on security and stability in the Middle East. They also discussed a number of aspects related to strengthening joint cooperation between the armed forces of both countries.
The French minister also confirmed his country’s appreciation for Egypt’s role in fighting terrorism in the region, and also it’s keenness to develop defence ties with Egypt in the areas of manufacturing and the exchange of expertise, training, and rehabilitation between the armed forces of both countries.
“Egyptian-French military relations are based on solid foundations of cooperation and partnerships at all levels,” Sobhi said.
In a similar context, there were additional meetings with other officials from different countries, in which discussions also included military cooperation and ways to fight terrorism.
Regarding the security cooperation between Egypt and Germany, German ambassador to Egypt Julius Georg Luy stressed that Germany is supporting Egypt in its war against terrorism and that the security cooperation will focus on that field through the exchange of intelligence information between the two countries, along with securing Egypt’s airports and borders.
These statements came during a press conference on Tuesday to declare the details of German chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit on 2 March, during which she will meet with Al-Sisi to discuss economic, political, and security topics.
“Regarding the security cooperation, there are declared aspects of that cooperation and confidential parts; among the declared aspects is the countering of illegal immigration, terrorism, and intelligence exchange,” he noted.
Lastly, Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs also met with US national security advisor H. R. McMaster and discussed ways to develop cooperation between both countries to fight terrorism.