Egypt gears up for major economic conference

The Egyptian president met with the interior and defense ministers in Cairo ahead of landing in Sharm el-Sheikh on Thursday

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President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi arrived in the resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh on Thursday on the eve of an international economic conference that he hopes would help the country rebound after years of economic woes.

Erlier, Sisi met with newly-appointed Interior Minister Magdy Abdel-Ghafar and defense minister Sidki Subhi among other security officials in the presidential palace in Cairo to discuss securing the Economic Development Conference (EEDC).


The conference will be held in Sharm el-Sheikh, situated on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula. In the Northern Sinai, the army has been battling Islamic militant groups since the 2013 ouster of Islamic president Mohammad Mursi.

During the meeting with security chiefs, President Sisi was briefed on internal security developments in Sinai, the spokesman for the Egyptian presidency said.

Sisi called upon security personnel to remain alert and ready to face any security challenges posed.

Egypt is seeking billions of dollars in investment at the international conference which is expected to be attended by about 2,000 officials and businessmen at the resort between March 13 and 15.

The gathering, to be attended by global chief executives and officials including the International Monetary Fund's Christine Lagarde and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, is not just about money.

Egypt hopes the event will put it back on investor radar by projecting an image of stability, despite the insurgency in northern Sinai and militant attacks across the country.

Economic reforms, including cuts in energy subsidies, a long-awaited law cutting red tape, and efforts to eliminate the currency black market, have won praise.

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