German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi on the sidelines of a UN Climate Action Summit on Monday, her spokeswoman confirmed.
Merkel’s spokeswoman, Ulrike Demmer, said she could not confirm what the two leaders would discuss, but regarding the recent protests in Cairo, Generally, it would be an issue to discuss.
A spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry said the office had taken note of the demonstrations in Cairo.
In Aug. 20, hundreds of Egyptians took to the streets in the capital Cairo and other cities, in a set of rare protests against al-Sissi.
The protesters chanted slogans demanding the ouster of the ex-general, who took power in 2014, a year after leading the military overthrow of the country’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi.
Protests are rare in Egypt amid a crackdown on opposition and freedom of expression.
Human Rights Watch and opposition media outlets said many protesters had been arrested after the Friday demonstrations.
A member of the German-Egyptian parliamentary group, Franziska Brantner, said that Merkel needed to discuss the arrests during her meeting with al-Sissi.
“The current wave of arrests must be stopped, and curbs on freedom on the internet should be lifted.
“Merkel should clarify that stability in Egypt will not occur without human rights,” Brantner said.