France won’t condition defense cooperation with Egypt on human rights, says Macron

PARIS, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) — President Emmanuel Macron said Monday that France will not condition its defense cooperation with Egypt on human rights because he did not want to weaken Cairo’s ability to fight against terrorism.

“I think it is more effective to have a policy of dialogue than a policy of boycott, which would reduce the effectiveness of one of our partners in the fight against terrorism and for regional stability,” Macron said at a joint press conference with visiting Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.

Macron also thanked Egypt for supporting France, claiming that France “has just been the victim of a campaign of hate and boycott driven by ignorance and extremism.”

The Libyan crisis was among the main subjects of the two presidents’ meeting. “We have both pursued the objective of promoting a lasting political solution in Libya for several years,” said Macron.

“We are seeing developments that are going in the right direction … but it is threatened by regional powers who have decided to make Libya the theater of their influence rather than the place of stability for the Libyan people.” Macron welcomed “the fundamental role” Egypt plays in solving the Libyan crisis.

The Egyptian president arrived in France on Sunday for a three-day state visit.

Egypt has concluded several arms deals with France since 2015, including the purchase of two French-made Mistral-class helicopter carriers and two dozen Rafale advanced fighter jets, the France 24 news channel reported.

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