Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has flown to Paris to take part in what is expected to be a million-man march in solidarity with the victims of three days of militant violence in the French capital that killed 17 people, a ministry spokesman has said.
Security forces have been on high alert ahead of the silent solidarity march that is due to bring together world leaders to join French President Francois Hollande.
European leaders planning to participate in the march include British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Italy’s Matteo Renzi.
Seventeen people were killed in three days of violence that began with an attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo Wednesday, killing 12, and ending Friday with sieges at a print works outside Paris and at a kosher supermarket in the city.
Arab League representatives, Jordan’s king and queen, several African Muslim leaders as well as Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will participate.
Shoukry will represent Egypt in the march to “express Cairo’s solidarity with France in such a critical time and its condemnation of the terrorist act that has nothing to do with Islam,” Al-Ahram Arabic news website quoted foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdel Atty as saying.
Shoukry’s participation underlines Egypt’s firm position against terrorism and the importance of joint international efforts to eliminate it, he added.
Others due to take part include Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, US Attorney General Eric Holder, as well as the prime ministers of Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Spain and The Netherlands. The presidents of Mali, Niger and Ukraine will also attend.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said: “This will be an extraordinary demonstration … which must show the power and the dignity of the French people who are going to proclaim their love of freedom and tolerance.”
French security forces killed the three gunmen behind the attacks.
Source: Ahram Online