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European Commission demands France disclose sale of spying equipment to Egypt

February 15, 2022 at 3:38 pm

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen holds a press conference in Brussels, Belgium on 8 February 2022 [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]

The European Commission called on France to disclose whether it provided Egypt with internet and communications surveillance and espionage equipment, as French media has recently claimed.

This comes days before Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi is expected to take part in the joint European and African Union summit being held in Brussels on 17-18 February.

Human Rights Watch has described the visit as highly problematic, as the Egyptian government is responsible for horrific and systematic abuses.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she is in contact with the relevant French authorities to ensure that sales of these technologies comply with EU export rules.

Many European Parliament deputies called on the commission to intervene in December after a report by the French investigative website Disclose revealed that three French companies had transferred espionage technologies to the Egyptian government and supervised the operation of a monitoring network aimed at collectively gathering information from telecom networks in the north African country.

The report, which was based on hundreds of classified French military documents, said the French government had approved the sale of a mass surveillance system to the Sisi regime.

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