France's Le Pen hails Egypt's battle against 'extremism'

31st May 2015, Comments 0 comments

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen on Sunday praised the fight against "extremism" launched by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is accused of a bloody crackdown against Islamists.

In July 2013, then army chief Sisi overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi after mass protests against his turbulent year-long rule, and a subsequent crackdown on Morsi supporters has seen hundreds killed and thousands jailed.

Under Sisi's guidance, Egypt launched air strikes in neighbouring Libya in February on fighters belonging to the Islamic State jihadist group, which has carried out attacks on Egyptian security forces in the Sinai peninsula.

"President Sisi is one of the leaders who has the clearest message against extremism," Le Pen told reporters during a visit to Cairo.

"The choice for the National Front is clear: to support countries fighting against fundamentalism, first and foremost Egypt," she said referring to her party.

The far-right leader said that Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, which is blacklisted in Egypt, shared a similar ideology to that of IS.

During her visit to Cairo, Le Pen also met Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and Ahmed al-Tayeb, grand imam of top Sunni Muslim body Al-Azhar, who used their meeting to voice concern over what he said was the National Front's "hostile positions towards Islam and Muslims".

© 2015 AFP

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