CAIRO – Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi traveled to Berlin on Tuesday, where German leaders were ready to roll out the red carpet for the ex-general despite what monitors describe as his government’s abysmal human rights record.
The trip, a first state visit long desired by the former army chief, will see him meet Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Joachim
Gauck, who as an activist played a prominent role in ending repressive Communist rule in East Germany. Sisi will also meet corporate leaders at a business conference Thursday. Sisi’s office said he seeks to boost economic, military and security cooperation, and highlighted 4.4 billion euros ($4.8 billion) in bilateral trade last year. Germany’s Siemens AG has made the largest single commitment so far to Egypt under Sisi’s yearlong rule – a 10 billion euro agreement to build power plants.