(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)
Sisi Seeks more Coordination with EU to Confront Terrorism
Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi stressed the importance of strengthening coordination and consultations with the European Union (EU) in regional files to confront joint challenges emerging from the existing regional crises, topped by terrorism and its repercussions on the security of the Middle East and Europe.
Sisi received on Monday Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn in the presence of Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.
The president welcomed the EU official, stressing that Egypt pays great attention to its ties with the EU in light of their bilateral cooperation within the framework of the Egyptian-European partnership agreement, said presidential spokesman Bassam Rady.
Sisi also affirmed that the EU is the first trade partner of Egypt.
For his part, Hahn voiced the EU’s keenness on bolstering the existing cooperation with Egypt, which is considered one of the most important neighboring countries.
He hailed Egypt’s pivotal role in the region as it is the main pillar of stability and security, lauding steps taken over the past years to achieve stability and efforts exerted to fight terrorism and illegal migration..
The meeting tackled means of promoting joint cooperation in various developmental issues, as well as the latest regional developments, including Egypt’s efforts to achieve Palestinian reconciliation and settle the Libyan crisis.
The two sides agreed on continuing coordination and consultation pertaining to the various regional issues, the spokesman reiterated.
In this context, during a joint press conference with Hahn, Shoukry pointed out that the meeting provided ample opportunity to address human rights issues.
The Egyptian point of view was raised regarding the aspirations of the society and the government to promote human rights, the positive role of civil society organizations and the attention given by the government to address these issues from a comprehensive perspective.
Shoukry also shed light on Egypt’s efforts to prevent any type of illegal immigration from its territory, stressing that this stems from the Egyptian state’s responsibility to control its coasts, prevent illegal immigration and eliminate human trafficking.
The meeting also included the singing of a memorandum of understanding, which outlined the allocation of European financial assistance to a number of development projects in accordance with Egypt’s Sustainable Development Strategy 2030.