France’s Hollande to attend New Suez Canal August inauguration
French President Francois Hollande - REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

CAIRO: French President François Hollande will participate in the Aug. 6 inauguration of the New Suez Canal, Egyptian presidential spokesperson Alaa Youssef said in a Saturday statement.

The news comes after Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabuis Saturday at a Cairo presidential palace.

Both sides discussed bilateral relations and international and regional issues of mutual concerns, according to Youssef.

Per a military agreement signed Feb. 16 by Cairo and Paris, Egypt purchased 24 Rafale fighter jets that will participate in the inauguration ceremony.

In a press conference with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Fahmy Saturday, Fabuis said his country is willing to deliver Egypt with military aid.

Egypt is the first leg of Fabuis’ tour in the region to Palastine, Jordan and Israel to discuss ways of reviving Palestine-Israel peace talks that have stalled since the failure of a U.S. brokerage in 2012.

“We have to do our best so that the two sides resume the negotiations. We think that doing nothing would lead to double risks of stalemate and fueling [the conflict],” said Fabuis in the conference.

In 2014, France proposed to resume peace talks with a time frame of 12 to 24 months to put an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

Shoukry emphasized Egypt’s support to the French proposal and said that the two-state solution and establishing a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders would “stabilize the region.”

The French minister attended Saturday a meeting with the foreign ministers of Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, and the Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Araby to discuss the French proposal, MENA reported Sunday.

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