CAIRO:President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi signed a number of accords with his French counterpart François Hollande during his three-day European tour which concluded in Paris Wednesday.
In a press conference at the Élysée French presidential palace, both presidents Wednesday signed a 70 million-euro ($87.5 million) agreement on the development of a natural gas network, an 80-million-euro accord to support small and medium enterprises in Egyptian slums and a 344-million-euro declaration of intent for the development of the third and fourth lines of the Cairo Metro, according to Egyptian Presidential spokesperson Alaa Youssef in a statement Wednesday evening.
Sisi invited Hollande to visit Egypt to participate in the inauguration ceremony of the Suez Canal axis development project next year, Youssef added. Sisi also praised France’s announcement of a day for Egyptian culture in France in 2018.
Both Presidents discussed a number of regional and international issues of common concern, particularly the peace process in the Middle East, efforts to combat terrorism and a review of the situations in Iraq, Syria and Libya.
The two sides agreed on resuming the Israeli-Palestine peace process as soon as possible, and in accordance with a two-state solution to ensure the establishment of the state of Palestine living in peace and security alongside Israel.
As for Libya’s security issues, Sisi and Hollande voiced their concerns about the negative developments and violence witnessed in Libya. They agreed to support the government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani and his rump state government in Tobruk in the East of the country.
Sisi also met with French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian Wednesday to discuss military relations, and Elisabeth Guigou, the president of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the French National Assembly, whom he invited to visit Egypt following its upcoming parliamentary elections.
The Egyptian president and his accompanying delegation Wednesday also met French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and former French Secretary of State for Foreign Trade Anne-Marie Idrac, who is currently the coordinator of Egypt-France-UAE economic affairs and cooperation, Youssef said in a statement.
“Idrac noted that she intends to visit Egypt in the near future to discuss projects that will be presented during the conference, and cooperate to ensure its success,” the statement said.