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.