The chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, is paying a two-day visit to Egypt on Thursday, to discuss several political and economic issues between Egypt and the most powerful industrial country in the European Union. Throughout the visit, it is scheduled for Merkel to meet Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Ahmed Al-Tayeb, and the Coptic patriarch, Pope Tawadros II. Meetings between German and Egyptian businesspeople will also take place during the visit, according to a press statement issued by the German embassy in Egypt. Under Al-Sisi, Egypt relied on German energy company Siemens to establish three power plants with a turnkey system in Beni Suef, Borollos, and the New Administrative Capital with a capacity of 14,400 MW, worth €8bn for both gas and wind plants.Egypt expects many things from the visit, such as attracting further investments from the industrial stronghold of Europe. The German chancellor is planning to discuss regional and national problems concerning refugees, the crisis in Libya, and the situation of German institutions in Egypt. Egypt also could provide Germany the opportunity to establish a German economic area in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, which might increase German exports to all nearby countries. The website of the German ministry of foreign affairs, auswaertiges-amt.de, says that Germany and Egypt enjoy close economic relations, especially in the area of trade. It stated that in 2015, bilateral trade grew by approximately 20% compared to the previous year, now worth EUR 5.2bn. Managing director at Multiples Group, Omar El-Shinity, believes that this visit will be beneficial for both countries regarding both, economics and politics.He believes that the deal with Siemens is designed to open a new path towards the EU, rather than just a deal to increase Egypt’s capacity of energy.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed cooperation between both countries in combating terrorism and irregular migration at their meeting in Cairo on Thursday. Merkel arrived in Cairo earlier in the day on a two-day visit to meet with President El-Sisi and other Egyptian top officials, her first visit to the country since 2007. During the meeting, Sisi and Merkel inaugurated via video conference the first phase of a project managed by the German power giant Siemens to build three new power plants in Egypt. El-Sisi said that the current turbulent situation in the region is not only a threat to the Middle East but also to Europe and the whole world.Merkel promised to provide Egypt with $250 million in support for its economic reform program.The German Chancellor described the reform program as courageous and praised Cairo’s commitment to honour the terms of the $12 billion loan extended by the International Monetary Fund to the country.Merkel also criticised countries which she said are involved in supporting terrorism in the region, expressing hope that Egyptian efforts to solve disputes in the region, especially in Libya, would see success.The German Chancellor also described the Egyptian-Tunisian-Algerian initiative – which aims at finding a solution to the Libyan conflict – as important and successful.
German ambassador to Egypt Julius Georg Luy held a press conference in the German embassy in Cairo to talk about the main topics German chancellor Angela Merkel will discuss with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in her scheduled visit to Egypt. The ambassador stated that the Merkel and Al-Sisi will tackle economic, political, and security topics. “She will discuss the political and economic relations. On the German institutions based in Egypt, Luy said that this issue is considered one of the most important matters to be discussed during Merkel’s visit to Egypt”. He added that all German institutions in Egypt are government-sponsored, meaning they are organisations affiliated with the German government and are receiving funding from it.Regarding the security cooperation between Egypt and Germany, Luy stressed that his country is supporting Egypt in its war against terrorism. He added that the security cooperation will focus on exchanging intelligence information between both countries and will include cooperation to secure Egypt’s airports and borders.On whether or not the German government considers Muslim-Brotherhood-affiliated organisations located in Germany to be terrorist groups, Luy noted that his country is following specific measures through which it can classify whether an organisation is a terroristic one or not. “Through intensive monitoring operations German intelligence conducted against these organisations, it was evident that they showed no signs of promoting violence. The German government, as a result, is not able to classify the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation”, he stressed. Germany is not the only European country to not declare Muslim-Brotherhood-affiliated organisations as terroristicRegarding the economic cooperation between both countries, Luy asserted that the power stations that the German company Siemens will establish in Egypt will cost $8bn Euros.