France, Egypt eye more cooperation in security, fighting terrorism

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-25 03:06:33|Editor: yan
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PARIS, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- French and Egyptian leaders had "an in-depth discusions" Tuesday on ways to boost cooperation mainly in security and fight against terrorism which had rocked both countries.

"There is a close strategic partnership between our countries in defense ... We continue to work within this framework of this partnership," French President Emmanuel Macron said at a press conference, after meeting visiting Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fatah al-Sissi.

Describing Cairo as a key ally to uproot terror cells in the Middle East, Macron said France stood alongside Egypt "because the security of this friendly country is also our own security".

Macron said he discussed with al-Sissi ways "to act very closely" to forge alternatives to end regional crises mainly in Syria and Libya.

"We have agreed to act together and to have a clear diplomatic action to work, everywhere, for regional stability, the states' integrity and the eradication of terrorist movements," Macron added.

He said the fight against terrorism must "imperatively be conducted in accordance with the rule of law and human rights", while refusing "to give lessons" to his guest on human rights.

"I am aware of the security context and conditions under which President al-Sissi operates. He has a challenge -- the stability of his country, the fight against terrorist movements, the fight against violent religious fundamentalism," Macron told reporters.

"I believe in the sovereignty of states and therefore in the same way that I don't accept other leader gives me lessons on how to govern my country. I do not give to others," he said.

For his part, al-Sissi said he was "against violence and with human rights".

"The Egyptian people refuse any violent practice or dictatorship and disrespect for human rights. But I am responsible for 100 million people in a region that extremism has almost turned it into a place to export terrorism to the whole world," al-Sissi said.