This came during the Egyptian diplomat's participation Wednesday, in the proceedings of the 7th Regional Forum of the Union for the Mediterranean in Barcelona.  

In an interview with MENA, Mekkawy pointed out to the progress of ties with a number of northern countries, including Spain.

The ambassador further referred to the distinguished ties binding Egypt and the southern Mediterranean countries.

He, meanwhile, said that Egypt has major contributions in the various files through its role in establishing the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF), confronting illegal immigration and terrorism, along with signing agreements to demarcate the maritime borders to benefit from the economic zones of the countries bordering the Mediterranean Basin.

Egypt is keen on supporting multilateral cooperation frameworks in the region, he said, pointing out that the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), that Egypt contributed to its establishment with France in 2008, mainly aimed at promoting cooperation between the countries' region.

The ambassador further said that Egypt is keen on attending all the periodic meetings being held within the framework of the UfM, either at the ministerial level or at the senior officials' level.

He further indicated that Egypt took part in the UfM's activities, along with its support to the mechanism work inside the UfM.

Regarding the annual regional forum of the UfM, the ambassador said that Egypt is regularly taking part in this important forum, especially in the high-level meetings of the foreign ministers.

Asked about the Egyptian-Spanish ties, the ambassador praised such ties as historical and distinguished at all levels.

From the political perspective, the ambassador said there is a joint Egyptian-Spanish coordination toward a host of regional and international issues.

The Egyptian-Spanish ties have witnessed a quantum leap over the past years, especially following the visit of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to Spain in 2015, he added.

As for the trade exchange between the two countries, the ambassador said that the volume of trade exchange from January until August reached 2.7 billion euros.

The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), an affiliate to the Spanish Foreign Ministry, is financing and implementing several development projects in water and energy spheres, he further said.

The ambassador, meanwhile, lauded the historical ties binding the two countries, saying that the Spanish side took part in saving the Temple of Abu Simbel in the early sixties during the construction of the High Dam.

The number of Egyptian students in Spain has witnessed a remarkable increase over the past years, given the quality of the academic content provided by the Spanish universities in the various spheres, he added.

Cairo and Madrid have great aspects for cooperation and development at the various levels for the upcoming stage, concluded the ambassador.