Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood has met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. The meeting came at the end of a three-day British trade mission led by Mr Ellwood, which was the largest to Egypt in over ten years.
This week I led a trade mission of over 40 British companies to Egypt to increase investment and trade between our two countries. Increasing British exports and trade is a key part of our long-term economic plan that will help support jobs and growth. It is also evidence of the active, concrete support that the UK is offering to build a more secure, prosperous, and democratic Egypt founded upon a strong, dynamic economy, which creates jobs and opportunities for all Egyptians.
I have been impressed by the vision of economic reform set out by the Egyptian government and Britain stands ready to help implement reforms that make Egypt a more attractive place for investment as well as ensure that economic growth benefits all Egyptians.
I also encourage the Egyptian government to take more steps on political reform, which must go hand-in-hand with economic reform to ensure long-term stability. This includes upholding the fundamental human rights guaranteed in the Egyptian constitution, such as freedom of expression, and reviewing cases such as that of the Al-Jazeera journalists.
At such a decisive time for the region, it is in British interests to see a strong, successful Egypt built on these economic and political reforms. Egypt has an important role in the region. I welcome Egypt’s leadership as part of the coalition to defeat ISIL and the poisonous ideology of violent extremism, as well as its continued support for the Middle East Peace Process.