CAIRO: French President Francois Hollande is looking forward to participating in the inauguration ceremony of the new Suez Canal; French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was quoted in a statement issued by Egypt’s presidency Saturday.
During his two-day visit started Saturday, Le Drian met with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and discussed bilateral relations and international and regional issues of mutual concerns including the situation in Libya, presidential spokesperson Alaa Youssef said in a statement Saturday.
During the meeting, “Le Drian delivered greetings of French President to Sisi and expressed Hollande’s aspiration to participate in the opening of the new Suez Canal inauguration ceremony describing it as a significant event,” according to the statement.
Le Drian also assured the deep historical relations of common interests between the peoples of the two countries, the statement added.
“The minister will discuss the deliveries of hardware” to Egypt following the Rafale deal, a French official said, according to AFP.
On the first day of his visit to Cairo, Le Drian met with his Egyptian counterpart Sedki Sobhi and Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and expected to meet with other high-profile Egyptian officials.
The visit comes after Egypt took delivery of three of 24 Rafale fighter jets it bought from France in a $5.6-billion deal. Three Rafale fighter jets have been already delivered to Cairo on July 20.