“A visit … that shows contempt for human and democratic rights.”
Those are the words of Britain’s Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn denouncing the invitation of Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to the UK.
Sisi’s government has been accused of what activists call grave human rights violations and there have been protests against his visit.
But Sisi has been strengthening ties with his Western counterparts, having held meetings with the leaders of France and Germany over the past year.
The timing of the visit to London was crucial.
As he held a meeting with David Cameron, the British prime minister, the UK government suspended flights to and from the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh over fears that a bomb may have brought down the Russian plane that crashed in the Sinai Peninsula last week.
So, what will this trip mean for Egypt’s relations with the UK? And concerns over democracy and human rights?
Presenter: Jane Dutton
Khalil Al-Anani – Associate Professor at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies and Resident Senior Fellow at Middle East Institute.
David Hearst – Editor of the Middle East Eye.
Marwa Maziad – specialist on Middle East politics, specialist in civil-military relations in the Middle East.