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Egypt's President al-Sisi, France's Macron discuss Libya, strengthening ties

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Egyptian President Abdel Fatteh al-Sisi and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron discussed mutual interests, human rights, and the conflict in Libya during the Egyptian leaders' visit to Paris on Monday.

Al-Sisi's visit comes as Cairo and Paris has forged closer ties amid shared concerns about Turkey's increasing role in the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean, including in Libya, where Turkey has intervened militarily.

The leaders gave a joint press conference at the Elysee Palace on Monday afternoon.

Macron said the two leaders had discussed human rights, without giving any details, and hailed their joint interests in the Mediterranean.

Al-Sisi said external powers were destabilizing Libya and reiterated that a political deal was the only solution to the conflict there.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is received by a military ceremony in Paris, France, December 7, 2020.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is received by a military ceremony in Paris, France, December 7, 2020.

Read more: Macron: Turkey's policy is hostile, working with Egypt to stabilize Mediterranean

Ceremonial visit

Al-Sisi was greeted with a military welcome ceremony in the French capital.

The Egyptian president flew into Paris Orly Airport on Sunday night before meeting with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

On Monday, he traveled to the Elysee Palace, where he was greeted with a military ceremony attended by Macron.

Al-Sisi is also set to meet France's prime minister and other senior officials.

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Egypt has concluded several arms deals with France since 2015, including the purchase of two French-made Mistral-class helicopter carriers and two dozen French Rafale advanced fighter jets.

Both Paris and Cairo oppose Turkey's military intervention in Libya in support of the Government of National Accord (GNA), which is in conflict with Egypt's ally the Libyan National Army for control of the country.

The French Presidency described Turkey's policy as “hostile” on Friday and said it was working with Egypt to stabilize the Mediterranean region.

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