Berlin - German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted on Wednesday that she would go ahead with a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, despite opposition from within her government.
"The invitation to al-Sisi stands," a spokesperson for the government press office said in reaction to an announcement on Tuesday by parliamentary president Norbert Lammert that he would not meet al-Sisi owing to the human rights situation in Egypt.
Sisi is scheduled to visit Germany on June 3 and 4.
Lammert, who is the equivalent of the speaker of Germany's lower house or Bundestag, informed the Egyptian embassy in Berlin of his decision in writing.
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"Instead of the long-awaited setting of a date for parliamentary elections, we have experienced for months a systematic persecution of opposition groups with mass arrests, convictions to many years in prison and an unfathomable number of death sentences," the Bundestag press office quoted Lammert's letter as saying.
The letter added that Lammert did not see any basis for a conversation with the Egyptian head of state.
An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced deposed president Mohammed Morsi and more than 100 others to death for orchestrating a prison escape during the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.