Egypt, NGOs call for int’l counter-terrorism cooperation
French police officers storm a kosher grocery to end a hostage situation, Paris - AP

CAIRO: The National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) called on United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to organize a global counter-terrorism conference, emphasizing it supports the Sunday “Republican March” in Paris.

NCHR said the march, in which Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is participating, represents an “international condemnation of all forms of terrorism,” and it strongly denounced the Jan. 7 shootings at the office of Charlie Hebdo.

“These terrorist operations assert that terrorism has no home or religion and targets all countries of the world, requiring cooperation and solidarity among the entire world on all levels to eradicate this phenomenon,” the NCHR added.

The organization also said that civil society organizations should be invited to attend any counter-terrorism conference organized by the U.N. to help set needed measures and agreements to address terrorism.

Minister of Defense Sedqi Sobhi stated Sunday that Egypt’s Armed Forces “are ready to cooperate with France’s military to counter terrorism and execute any tasks related to such efforts.”

Sobhi said he extended Egypt’s cooperation to his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian in a Thursday phone call.

In May 2014, Egyptian-French maritime training exercise Cleopatra, which has been conducted every two years for 25 years, was carried out in French waters for the first time.

Sobhi also told Le Drian he offered Egypt’s condolences to France’s victims since the French magazine’s attack.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi also called French President Francois Hollande to condemn terrorism and emphasize “international concerted efforts.”

The Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs (ECFA,) whose members are predominantly former diplomats, also said in a Thursday message sent to European embassies in Cairo that terrorism does not exclusively target Islamic or Arab communities because it is a global phenomenon “with no homeland.”

ECFA called on “enlightened forces” in Europe to realize that combating terrorism should be on an international level, rather than allow Islamophobia to grow.

The perpetrators of the satirical magazine killed a Muslim policeman, among their 12 slain victims, and a Muslim reportedly saved 15 hostages in a Jewish supermarket Jan. 9 from a siege in Paris.

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