French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is to meet Egyptian Defence Minister Sedki Sobhi on Monday, and President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on Tuesday, to discuss terrorism and the situation in the Middle East.
The meetings follow on from Saturday’s meetings between Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Al-Sisi and US Secretary of State John Kerry.
On the agenda is the formation of an international coalition led by the US to confront the threat of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS). Le Drian is also to conduct talks with Egyptian military manufacturers on Tuesday.
Le Drian’s visit is to coordinate measures to combat terrorism with Egypt, allowing ships and war supplies through the Suez Canal, said Yousry Al Ezabawy, a political analyst at Al-Ahram Centre for Strategic Studies.
Al-Sisi will discuss bilateral cooperation in the strategic and military fields, as well as address the situation in Syria, Libya and Iraq.
“This is a very important visit, especially that the French President [Francois Hollande] visited Egypt recently,” Al Ezabawy said. He added that it reflects France’s changed stance towards Egypt after it had previously not recognised the political process that followed the 30 June uprising.
“Now there is coordination with President Al-Sisi, and appreciation of Egypt’s political role,” Al Ezabawy said.