Egyptian parliament says Merkel is to visit Egypt next week, no German confirmation yet 

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The Egyptian parliament said in an official statement on Tuesday that German chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Egypt next week. There was, however, no confirmation from the German side so far.

The statement came following a meeting on Tuesday between Johannes Singhammer—one of the vice presidents of the German parliament—and Egyptian parliament speaker Ali Abdul Aal.

According to the statement, the visit was mentioned when Singhammer expressed his country’s concerns to advance its bilateral relations with Egypt.

Merkel’s visit to Egypt was announced in Egyptian media early February, quoting Egypt’s ambassador in Berlin, Badr Abdelatty, speaking about the preparation for the visit, scheduled to take place in March.

However, there was no announcement so far from Germany about Merkel’s visit.

The German embassy in Cairo was also unable to confirm whether or not Merkel would visit. If high-ranked officials are scheduled to visit other countries, there should be an announcement in a press conference one week prior, according to the policy of the German embassy.

Two days ago, Abdelatty repeatedly said in a televised phone call on ”Al-Hayat Al-Youm” programme that Merkel’s visit to Egypt is being arranged and that more German officials are expected to visit Egypt to meet with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and religious figures.

He also added that there is a delegation from the German-Egyptian Parliamentary Friendship Association that will visit Egypt after Merkel’s visit. Following so, the German minister of agriculture will also visit Egypt to discuss the bilateral relations between both countries.

A number of Egyptian political experts are welcoming Merkel’s visit, saying that the visit is important for supporting Egypt in different fields.

Politician Mostafa El-Fikky told news website Masrawy that Merkel’s visit is important, considering Germany’s position in the European Union (EU). The politician saw that the visit will open doors for discussion over the issues of illegal immigrants, US president Donald Trump’s politics, counterterrorism measures, and other topics.

Political science professor Hassan Nafaa told Daily News Egypt that Germany is the best country to invest in Egypt, so having strong ties with it will support the national economy.

Regarding Abdul Aal and Singhammer’s meeting, both focused on bilateral parliamentary relations and issues of mutual interest, such as illegal immigration and counterterrorism.

On his side, Abdul Aal also expressed Egypt’s keenness on advancing relations with Germany in all fields, referring in this regard to the formation of the German-Egyptian Parliamentary Friendship Association.

He also reviewed the latest laws issued by the Egyptian parliament in the first legislative stage, such as the Construction of Churches Law and the Value Added Tax Law.

The German vice president praised the efforts exerted by Egypt in the field of renewing religious discourse, especially the role played by Al-Azhar in this regard. He also praised the recent actions taken by Egypt in the economic field, describing the pound flotation as a right decision.

He also stressed the keenness of the German side to increase the number of German tourists to Egypt during the coming period, pointing out the importance of this visit and other similar visits, to deliver a true image of the Egypt’s stable security situation.

 

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