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Egyptian PM meets Hollande to cap two-day visit to France

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Egyptian PM meets Hollande to cap two-day visit to France

Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab met late Wednesday with French President Francois Hollande to cap his two-day visit here during which he also met the French Premier and the Foreign and Defence Ministers.

The meeting with Hollande was previously not on the schedule but Mahlab was received at the Elysee Palace to discuss bilateral, regional and international issues, diplomatic sources said.

The discussions focused on several regional crises, notably in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and the two men also stressed the need to move forward with the stalled Middle East peace process.

Both agreed, also, on the need for more cooperation to fight international terrorism.

On bilateral questions, largely addressed in a meeting between Mahlab and French Premier Manuel Valls earlier, both parties agreed to seek ways to boost cooperation and follow up on the bilateral accords inked by the two Prime Ministers for infrastructure, energy, aviation and transport.

France has also recently signed military agreements with Egypt to provide a Fremm Frigate to the Egyptian navy and 24 Rafale combat aircraft and MDA air-to-air missiles to the airforce.

The frigate and the first Rafale planes are due for delivery later this year, according to Defence sources.

Mahlab and his large delegation also met with French business and industry leaders to explore areas of potential cooperation and investment in Egypt.

The Egyptian head of government was accompanied by his Ministers for Civil Aviation, Trade and Industry, Power and Renewable Energy, Transport and Techncial Education.

France is currently working for the extension of the Cairo Subway and the Alexandria tramway and financing for these projects is under study by the Egyptian government and France is also providing a partial grant for these projects.

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