Egyptian President al-Sisi to conclude meeting with President Macron

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will today conclude his three-day official visit to France. The visit has sparked criticism from

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Photo: Philippe Wojazer/EPA

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will today conclude his three-day official visit to France.

The visit has sparked criticism from human rights advocacy groups, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the International Federation for Human Rights. All have called on French President Emmanuel Macron to denounce widespread human rights abuses under the al-Sisi regime.

While Macron has raised concerns over Egypt’s human rights record in the past, it is unlikely to affect discussions between the two leaders today. Expect Macron and al-Sisi to instead discuss reinforcing their strategic partnership. Both Egypt and France are wary of growing Turkish influence in the Eastern Mediterranean under the leadership of President Recep Erdogan, particularly given Ankara’s recent military interventions in Libya and Syria. Tensions between Paris and Ankara have risen recently, culminating in Erdogan’s suggestion that France should get rid of Macron as soon as possible.

As France is Egypt’s largest arms supplier—it sells fighter jets and warships to the Egyptian military—expect the leaders to discuss additional arms sales to Egypt. Additional discussions will likely concern strengthening trade relationships, including an October trade agreement that expanded ties in transport, energy, agriculture, small-and-medium-sized enterprises, health and antiquities.

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