President of Egypt begins state visit

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (right) meeting (from left) Ustaz Ali Mohamed, co-chairman of the Religious Rehabilitation Group (RRG); Ustaz Mohd Hasbi Hassan, co-chairman of the RRG; Ustaz Syed Ahmad Syed Mohamed, registrar at the Registry
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (right) meeting (from left) Ustaz Ali Mohamed, co-chairman of the Religious Rehabilitation Group (RRG); Ustaz Mohd Hasbi Hassan, co-chairman of the RRG; Ustaz Syed Ahmad Syed Mohamed, registrar at the Registry of Muslim Marriages; Reverend Monsignor Philip Heng, vicar general of the Archdiocesan Catholic Council for Interreligious Dialogue; Reverend Rennis Ponniah, bishop of Anglican Diocese of Singapore; and Mr Eswaran Sukumar, vice-president of the Inter-Religious Organisation, at the Harmony Centre yesterday.PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met Muslim community and inter-faith leaders at the Harmony Centre yesterday, as he began a three-day state visit to Singapore.

This is the first such visit by an Egyptian president to the Republic since diplomatic relations were established in 1966.

"This visit to Harmony Centre was on the request of the Egyptian delegation led by the Egyptian President to learn more about our inter- faith and inter-religious work," the Harmony Centre said in a statement. Leaders of the Religious Rehabilitation Group also briefed Mr Sisi on Singapore's efforts to counter extremism.

The Egyptian President's state visit comes as Singapore marks its 50th year of independence.

Mr Sisi will be officially welcomed at the Istana today. He will call on President Tony Tan Keng Yam and meet Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. He will also attend an event with business leaders. Dr Tan will host a state banquet in his honour this evening.

Mr Sisi is accompanied by a delegation that includes Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Hossam Eldin Moghazy, Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman, and the chairman of Suez Canal Authority, Admiral Mohab Mamesh.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 31, 2015, with the headline 'President of Egypt begins state visit'. Print Edition | Subscribe