CAIRO: President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi received French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna in Cairo on Thursday, stressing “the importance Egypt attaches to strengthening cooperation with France.”
The French minister described Egypt as a “reliable partner and an important country” for France in a post on X — formerly Twitter — as she began her visit to the North African state on Wednesday evening.
El-Sisi added that “Egypt will continue to exert utmost efforts to reach political and peaceful solutions to … existing crises, and therefore contribute to restoring regional security and stability.”
The meeting between the president and French minister for foreign affairs touched on regional issues of common interest, including the Palestinian issue and ways to revive the peace process, said Ahmed Fahmy, spokesperson for the presidency.
The pair discussed crises in a number of countries in the region, especially in Sudan and Libya, and the situation in the Sahel region, he added.
Fahmy said that both sides confirmed mutual keenness to continue strengthening bilateral cooperation frameworks across various fields and to support joint efforts to develop and prosper whilst combating terrorism and illegal immigration.
This came “in addition to enhancing cooperation in the energy, transport, and environment sectors and coordinating efforts to address the negative repercussions of the international political situation, especially aspects related to the global rise in the prices of food, energy, and finance,” he added.
Fahmy said that Colonna “expressed appreciation for the balanced and rational approach of the Egyptian foreign policy in working to resolve crises and establish stability and peace in the region.”
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Colonna also held talks on Thursday in Cairo.
During a joint press conference with Shoukry, Colonna said the recent period witnessed great developments in strengthening relations between Paris and Cairo, and that dialogue was bringing Egypt and France closer together.
She also called on Russia to stop its offensive in Ukraine, while Shoukry said Egypt demanded a political settlement to the crisis, urging an early end to military operations and the restoration of the Black Sea grain deal.
The minister thanked France for wheat shipments it had provided to Egypt. He also said that his own meeting with Colonna discussed the Palestinian issue and the situations in Libya, Syria, Iraq, and the Sahel region, as well as the results of the G20 meetings, and that there is an Egyptian-French consensus regarding the need for a ceasefire in Sudan.
Colonna praised Egypt for its positive stance in supporting France and supplying it with gas last year. Paris stands ready to support Cairo in its dialogues with international institutions and to work with it in resolving the economic crisis, she added, indicating that France could broach the topic of debt and was ready to increase investment in the country.