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CAIRO, June 25, 2018 (MENA) - Egypt's Planning Minister Hala el Saeed will participate in a forum on the future of economic relations between Egypt and France organized by the Arab World Institute and is set to kick off Monday with the participation of more than 200 prominent figures including senior government officials and businessmen.

Saeed has already headed for Paris within a framework of the importance of Egypt's presence on the international level to introduce the Egyptian economic reforms and exchange opinions and expertise, said a statement by the Planning Ministry on Monday.

The minister will partake in a round-table, titled by "The Economic Situation in Egypt: Challenges and Opportunities", on the macroeconomics situation in Egypt, added the statement.

The forum is held within the framework of the Egyptian season event, held by the institute, which also includes the exhibition "The epic of the Suez Canal, from Pharaohs era to the 21st century", marking the 150th anniversary of digging the canal.

It will also discuss topics relevant to the future of the Egyptian-French ties as four round-tables will be held for economic talks, read the statement.

MOSCOW, June 25, 2018 (News Wires) - World Cup contenders France are waiting for star striker Antoine Griezmann to hit his stride as they aim to secure top spot in Group C against Denmark on Tuesday.

Griezmann signed an extension with Atletico Madrid through to 2023 last week despite strong interest from Barcelona, but the 27-year-old has yet to find his best form in Russia.

While he scored from the penalty spot in an opening 2-1 win over Australia, his sluggish start to the tournament mirrors his early travails at Euro 2016 where Griezmann finished as top scorer.

“I think he will get stronger, I hope he does. That was the case at the Euros, he started slowly and finished very strong. I'm not worried about him,” said Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud.

Griezmann scored six goals as France finished runners-up to Portugal at the European Championship, clicking into gear as the competition progressed and netting five times in the knockout stages.

“He has had a long, gruelling season. He's played a huge number of matches," added Giroud, with Griezmann helping Atletico claim a third Europa League title.

“When you have a bit less in your legs, it's harder to be at ease on the pitch, but he's still very important for us.”

Griezmann himself admitted there is room for improvement as France target a deep run at the World Cup.

“I'm going to get better and I'm sure the level everyone expects, including myself, is going to come quickly,” he told French TV channel TF1.

Didier Deschamps' side are already qualified and would clinch first place with a draw in Moscow, a result that would also send Denmark through as runners-up irrespective of Australia's result against Peru.

Bayern Munich midfielder Corentin Tolisso is keen to avoid Croatia in the last 16, even if finishing top could mean a blockbuster clash with Lionel Messi's Argentina.

“Croatia will come out of Group D, so above all we have to avoid finishing second to avoid meeting them,” said Tolisso, who started the first game against Australia.

“Between Nigeria, Iceland and Argentina, they are all good teams.

“We know the Argentines have very strong individuals, notably Lionel Messi," he added. "You never know what's going to happen in a match. But we know the last 16 will be difficult, regardless of the opponent.”

Second-placed Denmark beat Peru 1-0 in their first game before a 1-1 draw with Australia to extend their unbeaten run to 17 matches.

Age Hareide's side are looking to reach the latter stages at a World Cup for the first time since 2002.

“France may be considered among the favourites and have six points but they have not been finishing off opponents,” Hareide told Danish newspaper bold.dk. “They have been pushed to the wire to get the points.”

“They played well in the friendlies, but have not played well so far in the World Cup,” he added.

Yussuf Poulsen is suspended after he collected a second booking in as many outings against Australia, the forward picking up a harsh yellow card following a VAR-awarded penalty.

Denmark are hopeful midfielder William Kvist will return at some stage after breaking two ribs and suffering a punctured lung against Peru, although it won't be in time to face France.

MOSCOW, June 24, 2018 (News Wires) - France forward Antoine Griezmann is confident his World Cup form will pick up following a slow start.

Although he earned and scored a penalty as France opened its campaign with a 2-1 win against Australia, he had a quiet game otherwise and was substituted by coach Didier Deschamps with 20 minutes remaining.

Griezmann was taken off with 10 minutes left in the 1-0 win against Peru, following another frustratingly below-par performance.

But Griezmann, the European Championship's top scorer two years ago, is confident he can repeat his Euro 2016 exploits.

He tells French soccer show Telefoot, "I will get better and better. It was the same at the Euros. It was only after the (second round) that I started to play very well."

Les Bleus take on Denmark in their final World Cup group-stage outing on Tuesday.

Midfielder Paul Pogba praised Griezmann for his "enormous" work-rate when tracking back to defend against Peru.

Pogba says, "He's fighting for the team."

 

ISTRA (Russia), June 24, 2018 (News Wires) - France midfielder Paul Pogba said the finals in Russia might be his last World Cup but he hopes he will be fit for more.

“It might be my last World Cup,” the Manchester United player, 25, told a news conference ahead of Tuesday’s Group C final game against Denmark.

France have already qualified for the last 16 and will secure top spot if they avoid defeat.

“I’m realistic, we don’t know if I’ll be called up, maybe other players will be better than me,” added Pogba.

“I hope I’ll play more. I’ve already had the chance to play two, some can only dream to play one.”

BRUSSELS, June 24, 2018 (News Wires) — France and Belgium are urging UNESCO to designate scores of their World War I memorials and cemeteries as World Heritage sites as the centennial remembrance of the 1914-1918 war nears its end.

Both sides of the Franco-Belgian border, where much of the fiercest fighting of World War I took place, are dotted with monuments to the dead who fought on the decisive Western Front battlefields like Verdun in France and Passchendaele in Belgium.

The war between a group led by Germany against France, the British Commonwealth and the United States saw some 3 million people die around the front line, which stretched from the Belgian coast to the Swiss border. More than 2 million men are buried in the region, hailing from almost 80 present-day nations.

"These sites force us to draw lessons from the past in order to construct a more peaceful future," said Minister-President Geert Bourgeois from Belgium's Flemish region, which was particularly hard hit during the war.

France and Belgium are seeking recognition for 139 sites. UNESCO's World Heritage committee will assess their request and 29 other nominations for inclusion on the list during a meeting in Bahrain that starts on Sunday and runs until July 4.

Even though the scenes of dank trenches and pockmarked battlefields where nerve gas could kill thousands a day are iconic, France and Belgium are centering on the dead and the cemeteries and memorials instead. They stress they do not want to glorify war.

"Immediately after the war, these were mainly places for mourning, for pilgrimages of the ones who had lost their loved ones. But quite quickly they became much more than that," said Luc Vandael, project manager for the Flemish region.

"They became an appeal for peace and reconciliation. The slogan 'no more wars' is quickly associated with those sites. So yes, there is something larger than just being a cemetery," Vandael said.

Now people make pilgrimages from across the world to remember those who gave their lives in western Europe. The appeal of the sites has spiked during the four years of centennial remembrances that will end with the marking of the November 11, 1918, armistice.

The Menin Gate in western Belgium is one of the most iconic memorials. It is etched with the names of almost 54,000 soldiers killed in the months-long battles around Ypres, many of whose remains were never recovered or did not receive proper burials.

"Through these sites, the nations and people involved can accommodate a shared part of their history. And this is truly a heritage of the world," said Bourgeois.

PARIS, June 22, 2018 (MENA) – French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is scheduled to embark on a foreign tour that will take him to Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus on June 28-30, the French Foreign Ministry said Friday.

Le Drian is expected to hold talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on a raft of regional and international issues, topped by the Libyan and Syrian files and the Middle East peace process.

During his stay in Egypt, Le Drian will discuss with the Egyptian side means of boosting bilateral ties, particularly in the field of fighting terrorism.

In April, the French top diplomat had paid an official visit to Egypt, during which he had talks with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

 

 

 

 

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