French President Emmanuel Macron met Monday with his Egyptian counterpart President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo aiming to raise concerns over human rights and boost ties between their countries.
The two leaders were to oversee the signing of around 30 deals between Egypt and France worth several hundred million euros (dollars).
Shortly after his arrival in Egypt on Sunday, Macron said he would talk “more openly” with Sisi on human rights.
“Things have got worse since October 2017” when Sisi visited Paris, said Macron, referring to the human rights situation in the North African country.
Sisi’s government is seen by Egyptian civil society as “more hardline than the regime of (Hosni) Mubarak”, he said, referring to the longtime president who was deposed in 2011.
“My line is: Stability and respect for sovereignty. But what is happening here threatens” Egypt’s stability, Macron said.
Macron had said in 2017 during Sisi’s visit to Paris that he would not “lecture” Egypt on human rights.
“Real stability depends on the vitality of society,” said Macron. “Stability and lasting peace go hand in hand with respect for individual freedoms and the rule of law.”
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