French President Emmanuel Macron greets Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as he leaves the Elysee palace in Paris, France, October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
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Instead, Macron said Egypt was a vital partner in the fight against Islamist extremism in the Middle East and Europe, as well as key in the search for lasting political solutions in war-wracked Libya and Syria.Egyptian security services are accused of using torture systematically by human rights groups, while government pressure on the media, NGOs and political opponents is seen as having increased under Sisi.Sisi ousted the country's first civilian president, the Islamist Mohammad Morsi from the Muslim Brotherhood, and insists that his priority is to restore law and order and provide jobs to ordinary Egyptians.In the lead up to the visit, Macron's aides had stressed that human rights would be discussed behind closed doors and that France would be "stubborn but discreet".Rights groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International had urged Macron to be bolder and make economic cooperation and military support conditional on improvements in human rights.
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