A report published in the Daily News Egypt reveals that, after months of negotiations, Egypt is set to purchase a French military reconnaissance satellite during the French president’s current visit to Cairo.
French president Francois Hollande arrived in Cairo on Sunday for a two-day visit, accompanied by a delegation of business people. The satellite purchase is part of a military deal package that includes navy vessels and military transportation aircraft. The exact figures of the deal are yet to be revealed. However, reports from France suggest the deal exceeds 1 billion euros.
Negotiations for the military deal date back to December, when the Egyptian minister of military production Mohamed Al-Assar visited Paris to initiate talks over the new military units. According to a December report by the French daily La Tribune, Al-Assar was in Paris to negotiate over two satellites, as there was a proposed purchase of a communications satellite. The reconnaissance satellite will reportedly be deployed to conduct surveillance over operations near Egypt’s borders.
Hollande’s visit will also see the signing of 30 agreements that relate to financial projects, trade contracts, and relations between both presidencies, according to the French ambassador to Cairo Andre Parant. The ambassador said it is expected that the two presidents will sign 10 memorandum of understandings (MOU) in a number of economic fields.
Prior to the anticipated visit of Hollande, two advisors for the French President met last Tuesday with representatives from six local and international rights organizsations, where the representatives discussed the deterioration of human rights in Egypt and urged the French president to make the human rights issue in Egypt a priority in his talks with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
The representatives said Al-Sisi must meet with Egyptian rights organisations to discuss the current status of human rights in the country, and suggested that Al-Sisi meet with United Nations representatives to “conduct a genuine fact-finding inquiry into the status of human rights in Egypt”.