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Egyptian president meets with French business leaders

October 25, 2017

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, left, and French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire arrive for a meeting at the Finance Ministry, in Paris, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017. French President Emmanuel Macron offered his support Tuesday to el-Sissi in the fight against terrorism, but said that needs to be led with respect to human rights. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

PARIS (AP) — Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi met Wednesday with French finance minister Bruno Le Maire and a dozen business leaders on the third day of his official visit to France.

Several French companies, including oil giant Total and underground metro operator RATP, were hoping to secure future deals.

El-Sissi’s visit is focusing on economic cooperation and the fight against extremism.

He met at length with French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday. They discussed the crisis in Libya, Egypt’s chaotic North African neighbor, and the war in Syria.

France has reaffirmed its support to Egypt as a key country to stabilize the troubled region.

Human rights groups and French watchdog Reporters Without Borders have organized actions during el-Sissi’s visit to protest against Egyptian authorities’ large-scale crackdown on dissent.

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