(Ecofin Agency) - Last Sunday, the French president Emmanuel Macron started a 3-day official visit in Egypt. Planned to end on January 29, 2019. This visit is organized amid a tense context marked, for months now, by the protests of Gilets Jaunes (the name given to the French protest movement that started in late 2018 against rising fuel prices).
The French president’s arrival in Egypt is placed under the sign of economic and security cooperation. According to the French presidency, more than thirty agreements worth “hundreds of million euros” should be signed by the French delegation composed of around fifty managers and their Egyptian peers.
France, which is the eleventh trade partner of Egypt, wants to conquer the “vast” North African market, its weapons sector notably.
Ruling the country since 2014, the Egyptian president Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi has often been accused of sacrificing human rights for the sake of political and economic stability while the country is still trying to emerge from the economic crisis affecting it since 2011. In that regard, Macron who in 2017 refused to “lecture his Egyptian peer”, should discuss human rights with president Sisi “more openly” today, January 28, 2019, during their discussions.
Let’s note that many counter-terrorism and security cooperation issues should be discussed while the Maghreb country is preparing to head the African Union.
Moutiou Adjibi Nourou