CAIRO: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi held a series of meetings with Arab and European leaders on the sidelines of Paris held U.N. Climate Change Conference to discuss counter-terrorism, said Egyptian Presidential spokesperson Alaa Youssef Sunday.
President Sisi headed for Paris Sunday to participate in the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); he chairs the Committee of African Heads of State on Climate Change (CAHOSCC). Egypt also assumes the chairmanship of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment, AMCEN.
Military talks with Le Drian
In his meeting with French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian Sunday, President Sisi called for unifying efforts to combat terrorism in the African Sahel, where militant Islamic States and al-Qaeda-inspired groups have gained ground.
“They discussed the crises in the region, mainly in Syria and Libya, and stressed the need to resolve them in order to preserve state institutions and provide conditions conducive for political, economic and social development to ensure a better future is realized for their people and the future generations,” Youssef said in a statement.
“President Sisi and Minister Le Drian agreed to strengthen military cooperation to cope with common challenges that the international community faces, mainly terrorism, which has extended beyond the Middle East,” he continued.
Sisi held discussions with both chief executive officers of Dassault Aviation Eric Trappier and DCNS Group Hervé Guillou on the military cooperation between the two French companies and Egypt.
In February, Cairo signed a deal with Dassault Aviation Company to buy 24 Rafale combat jets and FREMM multipurpose frigate worth $5.9 billion. In 2014, the French shipbuilder DCNS signed contracts with Egypt to sell the four Gowind-class corvettes.
Support to Iraq against IS group
President Sisi met with his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Masum, affirming Egypt’s assistance to Iraqi government with all forms to combat the Islamic State group militants in Iraqi territories, the spokesperson said.
“President Sisi highlighted the important role that Al-Azhar, among other religious institutions, can play to refute the ideology of Daesh [Islamic State group] and other extremist groups that propagate destructive thoughts that aim to undermine the Arab countries and drive them toward chaos and division,” Youssef added.
Invitation to visit UNSECO
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova invited President Sisi to visit UNESCO “to present to member states Egypt’s views on issues related to heritage and culture,” Youseef said.
“President al-Sisi stressed the important role that UNESCO plays in combating the deliberate destruction of Arab cultural heritage by terrorist groups. He stressed the need to strengthen cooperation between UNESCO and Egypt to protect the youth from extremist thoughts particularly those disseminated on the Internet,” Youssef continued.
Economic discussion with OECD
Sisi held a meeting with Secretary General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Jose Angel Gurria Sunday, affirming Egypt’s keenness to benefit from the organization, in which Egypt is a member, Youssef added.
“The President also looks forward to enhancing cooperation within the organization’s MENA program, which aims to improve investment climate, governance and transparency, and better manage and make the most of foreign assistance,” he continued.
“Mr. Gurría outlined the ongoing programs executed in cooperation with various relevant Egyptian bodies that aim to support SMEs, enhance means to attract investments, and improve tax system and e-governance. He noted that the organization is ready to enhance cooperation with Egypt and devise programs that would cater to its needs and priorities and address its concerns, “Youssef added.