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British Foreign Minister Visits Egypt Amid Calls to Shed Light on Human Rights Situation

British Foreign Minister Visits Egypt Amid Calls to Shed Light on Human Rights Situation

Boris Johnson and Sameh Soukry in Egypt. (Photo by Mohamed El Raai)

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson met with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry on Saturday, in the first UK foreign minister visit to Egypt since 2014.

Prior to his arrival, Johnson had said that “the U.K. is a champion of a renewed Egypt because stability, peace and growth in this region are the bedrock of opportunity and security” and described Egypt as a key economic partner and a strong ally against terrorism in the region.

Johnson’s visit entailed discussions on a wide range of issues related to bilateral trade relationships, education and counter-terrorism efforts.

Reprieve, a British human rights organization, had urged the British Foreign Secretary to speak about what it described as “appalling” human rights abuses in Egypt during his visit.

In their meeting, Shoukry discussed the progress made regarding security upgrades to Egyptian airports, emphasizing that the measures now in place comply with international standards, as well as the importance of the British role in tourism recovery.

Johnson also hosted a reception with British investors and Egyptian entrepreneurs and there are plans to meet with civil society representatives and human rights activists.

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Seif Ghallab is an analyst at GlaxoSmithKline based in London. He is also the Founder of Take-Off Egypt, a social enterprise with a vision to eliminate nepotism in the Egyptian internship scene. He graduated with an Honors degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Manchester and writes for Egyptian Streets about Business, Economics and Technology as a writer.

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