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Sunday, 27 January 2019

French President Emmanuel Macron arrives in Egypt today

France’s Macron is in town today: French President Emmanuel Macron arrives in Egypt today for talks with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and other Egyptian officials. Macron will speak with El Sisi on issues including regional politics and economic cooperation. Macron is also facing pressure from some quarters to take a firmer stance on Egypt’s human right record.

Look for plenty of news on the business front: Execs from as many as 15 French companies are accompanying Macron. Among the agreements already set to be announced:

  • Wholesale market: Egypt will be signing a cooperation agreement with France’s Rungis International Market — the world’s largest wholesale food market — to “outline a plan to develop wholesale markets in Egypt,” Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy said, according to MENA.
  • Peugeot looking at assembly? Peugeot may be looking to follow Mercedes-Benz’s lead and assemble cars here, French Chamber of Commerce Co-President Mahmoud El Kaissy said, according to Ahram Gate.

Don’t expect Egypt to buy more Rafales this week: One long-gestating agreement that may not be in the cards for the time being is Egypt’s purchase of a dozen Rafale fighter jets. An Elysee official told Reuters that the agreement will not be finalized this week, but that contracts could be signed in the months ahead. The US had imposed restrictions on key components of the jets, which effectively blocked the sale and pushed Paris to look for ways to skirt the roadblock. Egypt had reportedly quietly signed a security agreement with the US last year to remove the block on the sale.

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