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Macron: France will sell arms to Egypt to help counter terrorism in Middle East

PARIS: President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday he would not condition the future sale of French arms to Egypt on human rights because he did not want to weaken Cairo’s ability to counter terrorism in the region.

“I will not condition matters of defence and economic cooperation on these disagreements (over human rights),” Macron said during a joint press conference with President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi after the two leaders held talks in the Elysee Palace.

Meanwhile, Sisi said that he was working to secure the future for the Egyptian people in the region.

Macron made his remarks at a press conference with El-Sisi after the two leaders held talks at the Elysee Palace.

France views Egypt and its leader as a bulwark against Islamist militants in the Sinai peninsular and Libya.

Earlier in the morning, France had welcomed Sisi with a Cavalry parade through Paris.

But 17 French and international human rights groups issued a statement ahead of a visit by Sisi to France.

Accusing Macron of turning a blind eye to what they say are increasing violations of freedoms by Sisi’s government.

Drums rolled and trumpets blared as the French Republican Guard cavalry earlier escorted Sisi through the centre of the capital and across the Seine over the Pont des Invalides. A masked Macron welcomed him at the Elysee Palace.

Diplomats say that is as much to do with financing issues as with France’s response to human rights concerns.

Sisi dismissed the accusations of human rights abuses.

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