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The Debate

Dealing with Sisi: Macron justifies soft approach on human rights in Egypt

How can France help Egypt? The Arab world's most populous nation is rolling out the red carpet for Emmanuel Macron. His three-day state visit is raising eyebrows among human rights advocates who claim there are as many as 60,000 political prisoners in Egypt today - with repression far greater than before the 2011 overthrow of Hosni Mubarak.

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What's justified in the name of the fight against a radical insurgency that targets security forces and Egypt's Coptic Christian minority? The crackdown goes well beyond suspected Islamists.

Can the French president successfully pressure his hosts on human rights while trying to seal military and commercial deals?

More broadly, what do Egyptians themselves want? With talk of lifting term limits for strongman Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, can the current status quo endure indefinitely?

Produced by Alessandro XENOS, Laure FOURQUET and James VASINA.

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