Published: 03 March 2017 Friday, 09:25 AM
Bonn, 03 March (deutschenews24.de/dpa)- German Chancellor Angela Merkel was in Cairo on Thursday for talks her office said would focus on migration, economic cooperation between Germany and Egypt, the political unrest in Libya and Egypt`s human rights record.
Prime Minister Sherif Ismail welcomed Merkel at Cairo airport and accompanied her to the presidential palace where she was scheduled to meet with President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi.
The road to the palace in the eastern Cairo quarter of Heliopolis was adorned with Egyptian and German flags, a common tradition for prominent visitors.
In her first visit to the country since 2009, Merkel will address the repatriation of failed asylum seekers in Germany and their living conditions once they return to Egypt.
Merkel and al-Sissi will also talk about ongoing efforts to restore stability to Libya, a hub for migrants attempting to reach Europe.
Al-Sissi is seeking to improve ties with Europe, which have been strained since 2013, when the army he then led deposed democratically elected Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.
Local and international activists have voiced concern about Egypt`s rights record and accused the government of muzzling dissidents.
Later on Thursday, Merkel will meet with Tawadros II, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, as well as civil society leaders.
On Friday, the German leader will travel to Tunisia, where she will address parliament.