Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi met Thursday afternoon with Austrian foreign minister Sebastian Kurz, who is currently on a multiple-day visit to the Egyptian capital to boost mutual ties, Egypt's presidency said.
Egypt's El-Sisi discusses jihadi terrorism with Austrian FM in Cairo
Copts and Poliltical Islam
Friday ,22 May 2015
El-Sisi and Kurz discussed developments in the Middle East, mainly the rise of militant terrorism, presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef said.
Both officials stressed on the religious and intellectual aspects that need to be taken into account when fighting terrorism in the region and Europe, the spokesman added.
Kurz said that the Islamic State group, which has seized large swathes of land in Syria and Iraq and is currently boosting its presence in Libya, poses a serious threat to Europe by continuing to draw thousands of European fighters to its ranks.
The senior diplomat expressed fears that foreign fighters who have joined jihadist groups would bring their militant views back home. Over 170 people are estimated to have left Austria to fight in the Middle East, some of whom have been killed, according to the interior ministry.
Kurz, who arrived to Cairo on Wednesday, held earlier talks with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukri where they also discussed combating Islamic terrorism and the conflicts in Libya, Syria and Yemen, as well as the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
On Wednesday, an Austrian court sentenced two men, an Egyptian and an Austrian, on charges of joining a terrorist organisation after ruling they had travelled to Syria for training by radical jihadists, the Austrian Press Agency reported.
Also on Wednesday, Kurz held talks with Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Egypt's top Islamic authority Al-Azhar, where they looked at different means of cooperation to combat militancy.