CAIRO, June 13 (Reuters) – France announced on Sunday that it would provide Egypt with some 1.8 billion euros ($ 2.2 billion) in funding for projects such as the Cairo metro, power generation and water management, which officials called a major boost to bilateral cooperation. .
The financing includes a concessional government loan of around 800 million euros for the modernization of line 1 of the Cairo metro, which dates from the 1980s. Another billion euros in funding from AFD, the French agency development, will cover a series of projects over the next five years.
Further state-guaranteed loans of possible € 2 billion for a new metro line in Cairo – Line 6 – would be negotiated over the next six months, French Finance Minister Bruno said. The Mayor during a trip to the Egyptian capital.
France and Egypt have forged close ties since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi became president in 2014, despite differences over human rights and strong criticism of Egypt from human rights activists and some foreign states.
Sisi’s domestic supporters claim that a wide-ranging crackdown on liberal and Islamist opponents has helped stabilize Egypt.
The cooperation has included billions of dollars in arms sales to a country that France considers an essential partner in the fight against Islamist militancy. In May, France announced a new € 4 billion deal to deliver 30 Dassault fighter jets to Egypt from 2024.
The Mayor said that France sees Egypt as a strategic partner and has chosen to expand its trade relations with the North African country following a visit by Sissi to Paris in December.
“France will dramatically increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the primary counterpart to government-to-government loans,” he said.
The plans announced on Sunday include the construction of a railway line between Aswan in southern Egypt and Wadi Halfa in neighboring Sudan, the Egyptian cabinet said. AFD will also provide 150 million euros to support the construction of a universal health insurance program.
(1 $ = 0,8260 euros)