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Egyptian president arrives in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI // The president of Egypt arrived in the capital on Thursday to attend National Day celebrations and an international conference on protecting cultural heritage.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, met Abdel Fattah El Sisi at the Presidential Airport.

During the reception the national anthems of both countries were played, followed by a 21-gun salute, reported Wam, the state news agency.

Mr El Sisi is expected to attend a Unesco-backed conference where heads of state and representatives from more than 40 countries will discuss ways to protect heritage sites in areas of war and other conflict.

Irina Bokova, head of Unesco, said the conference in Abu Dhabi this weekend would address what she called “cultural cleansing” amid the rise of extremism and conflict worldwide targeting ethnic -minorities and religions.

“Heritage is one of the tools for peace, heritage is the best way for dialogue among cultures and it gives confidence to people to rebuild. Heritage is part of the identity of the people,” she said.

Attendees will discuss an international fund for cultural preservation programmes and ways to improve the emergency protection of heritage sites.

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