Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi – File Photo
CAIRO - 5 July 2017: The outcome of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s visit to Hungary, which concluded on Tuesday, pointed out that Egypt has been working actively on deepening relations with European countries, as this was always on the top of its foreign agenda.
During his three day visit, Sisi held meetings with Hungarian leaders and discussed bilateral relations. He also attended the Egyptian-Hungarian Business Forum that aimed at reviewing means of boosting investments and activating trade exchange.
Sisi concluded his visit after attending a summit with the Visegrad Group (V4) that consists of Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Each country was represented by its prime minister during the summit.
Egypt is the third non-member state to be invited to participate in a Visegrad Group summit – following Japan and Germany.
The visit was predicted by experts to be a good turning for Egypt’s relations with East European countries, especially that Egypt has been working throughout the past two years in this regard through maintaining mutual visits and opening doors for European investments.
The summit between Sisi and the V4 leaders reflected international support for Egypt’s polices through the participating countries’ keenness to support Egypt in economic and political fields.
Foreign affairs analysts provided comments on the importance of the deep relations with V4 group countries and their significance for the Egypt economy and Egypt’s stance in combating terrorism and illegal immigration.
Significance of deep Egyptian-European relations
Saeed El-Lawendy International Relations expert at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic studies told Egypt Today, “Egypt has constructed balanced relations with European countries over the past two years, that was fully reflected with credibility,” adding that, “Egypt meeting with Visegrad group will provide good new relations to Egypt”.
The expert continued that Egypt has succeeded to make good relations with Arab and European countries, with remaining politically neutral. He also explained that the European countries are significant to Egypt, for what they can provide from support for the Egyptian economy and the efforts to fight terrorism.
Strong relations with East European countries are not less important that countries of the west, regarding its position in the European Union and their success in Nuclear and transportation fields, he concluded.
Tarek Kabil Minister of Industry, Trade and Small Industries, said Sisi’s visit to Hungary and his attendance to the Egyptian-Hungarian Business Forum, will enhance investment between East European countries and Egypt, and will increase presence of Egyptian products in European markets.
He also said that Egyptian exports increased in the Hungarian market by 198 percent during the first quarter of 2017, and some Egyptian fertilizer products were introduced there for the first time.
He also added that there are huge opportunities for the Businessman to invest in Egypt markets and get advantage of local market, as Egypt represent a strong starting point for Europe to enter African and Arab Free markets.
The Minister also explained that Egypt is seeking to be a base for Hungarian investments in the region to benefit from trade agreements linking it with African and Arab countries.
During the summit, Visegrad showed support for the recent economic procedures taken in the Egypt to continue implementation of state economic reform.
Economic cooperation will provide advantages for both sides as Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic can get Egyptian seeds such orange, mango, citrus and other vegetables, in their market that can exceed 120 million citizens and can absorb Egyptian agricultural exports of more than one billion dollars.
Furthermore, it is possible to attract investments through partnership with the Egyptian side to build the industries of repairing ships, equipment and cars and also exploiting the large African market through Egypt's agreements with Africa.
Visegrad group, that mark the fifth biggest economy world while, considers Egyptian tourist areas at the top of the entertainment and archaeological destinations that should be visited worldwide, therefore the Egyptian policy seeks to increase the number of tourists from the citizens of those countries to support the tourism sector.
Regional outcomes of the summit with V4
Sisi three-day visit to Hungary came up with four agreements in the fields of bilateral relations, economic cooperation, terrorism and illegal immigration, and marketing of Egyptian products.
Beginning with illegal immigration, the officials agreed on necessity of tackling the current migration crisis, as it “requires first and foremost addressing its root causes”, explaining that putting end for regional crisis that create to solve this phenomenon through political solutions.
They further appreciated Egypt’s efforts in this regard, asserting that it does not only serve the security and stability of Egypt but also Europe interests.
Egypt is currently hosting millions of refugees, and worked on providing real measures to prevent their illegal immigration to Europe, which is a heavy burden on the Egyptian government.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that the European officials discussed with Al-Sisi the situation in Libya and ways to combat illegal immigration from Libya to Europe.
However, Libya is a threat to Europe, but still they are responsible for this situation there, as when we entered Libya without a plan to secure stability and left the border open without security, Orbán continued.
Hence were agreed on promoting stability and concerted efforts to activate the rule of law and help creating a government capable of managing the Libyan stat, Orbán added.
Following ignition of regional crisis, EU has been witnessing a wave of illegal immigrants, which the largest since the war world II and due to political stability European countries seek cooperation of Egypt to host numbers of refugees by facilitating their entrance, while it is already suffering rise of refuges residing in it.
Egypt has recently approved a law imposing penalties on whoever practices human tracking and illegal immigration crimes. There are several numbers of semi-governmental entities following up the issue with neighboring countries.