President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi met with German vice-chancellor and minister of economic affairs Sigmar Gabriel on Sunday. Gabriel was in Egypt, heading a large delegation of German businesspeople, according to state-run newspaper Akhbar Al-Youm.
“Egypt is taking important steps towards achieving democracy and Germany supports those steps,” Gabriel said during a press conference held at lthidiya Palace, following his meeting with Al-Sisi.
He further highlighted that Germany is committed to full coordination with Egypt regarding the securing of borders.
Gabriel added that Egyptians have a “president worthy of admiration”, noting that he discussed steps to enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries in all fields with Al-Sisi and other government officials.
Gabriel added that the Egyptian and German people have “good relations”, stating that “millions of German tourists” have visited Egypt.
Gabriel asserted that German investments in Egypt through number of corporations provide nearly 20,000 job opportunities to Egyptians. He also referred to some disputes between the two countries, saying, however, that these disputes will not affect bilateral relations.
Gabriel arrived in Egypt on Saturday night in an official visit heading a delegation of 120 investors to sign several agreements and to discover investment opportunities in Egypt.
Recently, German interior minister Thomas de Maizière made an official two-day visit to Egypt, during which he met Al-Sisi. De Maizière also delivered a speech focusing on religious tolerance to students from Al-Azhar University.
The German government previously expressed its concerns regarding the human rights conditions in Egypt, through an official statement issued by the German foreign office. The statement followed the reopening of investigations into the “NGOs’ foreign funding” case, which brought a number of Egypt’s most renowned human rights defenders to trial.
Al-Sisi visited Germany in June 2015, in a trip that was hailed by the state as a marker of successful relations between the two countries, heralding a number of major business deals. The visit was however marked by widespread protests in Berlin, decrying Egypt’s deteriorating human rights record.
Al-Sisi’s visit was also uncharacteristically marked by the presence of 140 high-profile figures in his entourage, including actors and celebrities. These figures held their own demonstrations, in an effort to offset the opposition faced by the visit among the German population.
Daily News Egypt