CAIRO: Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab is to meet Tuesday the French defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in an official visit to Paris.
The Egyptian delegation, which includes five ministers and head of Suez Canal authority Mohab Mamish, will be visiting a nuclear site and meeting also with the members of the French parliament’s Committee of Foreign and Defense affairs.
In February, the Egyptian and French militaries signed a $5.2 billion sale of 24 Rafale air jets to the Egyptian air forces, at a time when the Obama administration had suspended the delivery of F 16 air jets, which is a part of The U.S. military aid to Egypt.
However, many were critical France’s part in the deal, as several human rights organizations have condemned the Egyptian authorities’ crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood group.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in news statements following the deal being signed that “With Libya being wrecked by instability to the west and the threat from Islamic State group-linked militants to the east, Egypt plays a key role in providing stability in a troubled region,”.
“We are hoping to move step by step towards more democracy, but the stability of Egypt is a very important point,” Fabius added.
Egyptian officials announced in March that amount of trade exchange between both country reached 2.5 billion Euros last year.