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Sisi to meet Merkel, Steinmeier in Berlin on Tuesday

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday in Berlin, the German deputy government spokesperson, Ulrike Demmer said.

In a press conference on Friday, Demmer stated that the talks are set to tackle boosting bilateral ties and regional and international issues of common interest.

Egyptian-German relations are so strong, Demmer told MENA, adding both countries have several domains of joint cooperation, as Cairo is a major partner for Berlin.

Berlin hopes that Cairo will support German-African relations through its presidency of the African Union, the German official underlined.

President Sisi is set to meet German President Frank Walter Steinmeier and Speaker of Bundestag Wolfgang Schäuble.

He will also partake in G20 Compact with Africa (CwA), as Egypt will chair the African Union in 2019.

As part of the German government’s support for Egypt, the German Ambassador to Cairo Georg Luy confirmed that the German government is seeking solutions to water issues in Egypt.

This came during his speech at a ceremony held late Tuesday at the embassy’s headquarters on Germany’s Unity Day in the presence of Minister of Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Ati, Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma’it and senior officials in the Egyptian government.

Luy added that Egypt is one of the 19 partner countries in the world with German government focus, pointing out that the German government funded water treatment projects and drainage plants in Egypt.

“Egyptian and German experts are working to improve the efficiency of water use system in agriculture through the rehabilitation of irrigation channels and the establishment of modern pumping and drainage systems, in addition to training farmers on modern farming methods to increase their crops,” Luy added.

He clarified that the German government contributed to the financing of the construction of the new Assiut barrage with €310 million.

“Egypt has been facing a water scarcity challenge in recent years and the population growth is alarming,” he highlighted. Luy referred that Egypt’s population is expected to reach 110 million by 2025 which will put further pressure on the water supply.

The diplomat added that Germany continues to work with the Egyptian government to implement the necessary reforms related to drainage, irrigation and water use and to establish a socially and economically appropriate tariff for water use.

During his meeting with an Egyptian journalist at his residency in May, Luy praised Egypt’s measures to achieve the desired economic growth rate of 7.5 percent, saying that President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s decisions to float the Egyptian pound and decrease the subsidies were very brave.

The German ambassador also praised Egypt’s efforts to eliminate the illegal immigration that has been reduced to the minimum since inking a deal between the two countries in 2017.

Luy denied that Germany will move its embassy to Jerusalem like the U.S. “Germany refuses the unilateral steps, because they don’t help in solving the conflict,” Luy explained.

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