French President Emmanuel Macron has said that he told his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi during a visit to Cairo that stability and security could not be separated from human rights.
The two leaders met on Monday in the capital, Cairo, to oversee the signing of around 30 deals between Egypt and France worth several hundred million dollars.
Macron said Sisi’s government is seen by civil society as more hardline than the regime of Hosni Mubarak, referring to the longtime president who was deposed during 2011 Arab Spring uprising.
Sisi told reporters on Monday that rights should be taken in the context of regional turbulence and the fight against terrorism. Sisi led the overthrow of Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood in mid-2013. The state has since arrested thousands of dissidents, including activists and journalists.