German chancellor Angela Merkel is set to arrive in Egypt on 2 March for an official visit. She will meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, accompanied by a high-level business delegation, according to state-run media outlet Egy News.
The chancellor’s visit was confirmed by German government spokesperson Steffen Seibert, announced during a press conference in Berlin on Friday. This was the first confirmation of the visit after rumours about Merkel’s visit to Egypt arose at the end of 2016 and Egyptian ambassador Badr Abdelatty’s claims in early February that the visit would take place in March.
The chancellor will hold bilateral talks with Al-Sisi, which will include the economic relations between both countries, the situation in Libya, the fight against terrorism, regional issues and Africa’s security, as well as illegal migration.
Merkel is scheduled to meet with the prime minister as well to discuss cooperation between both countries and will also meet with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed Al-Tayeb, and the head of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros II.
This will be Merkel’s first visit to Egypt after Al-Sisi was elected president. She previously visited Egypt in 2008 and 2009 and she also had received both his predecessors, Mohamed Morsi and Hosni Mubarak, in the German capital.
Following her visit to Egypt, Merkel is scheduled to visit Tunis and meet with the Tunisian president and his prime minister.
Previously, a number of Egyptian political experts encouraged the visit, saying that it is important for supporting Egypt in different fields. Relations between Egypt and German have improved again in recent years—especially in the economic sector—after initial tensions following Al-Sisi’s election as president.