CAIRO – 26 March 2023: Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shokry received Sunday Commissioner for Promoting European Way of Life Margaritis Schinas, exchanging views on issues of priority for both sides, mainly illegal migration.
Minister Shokry stressed the importance of "moving cooperation from the technical level to a high political level that fulfills the joint interest of both parties, in alignment with the concept of partnership in shouldering burdens," the ministry's press statement indicated.
The minister further presented Egypt's vision on dealing with the phenomenon, and that is rooted in a holistic approach that extends to developmental and social aspects, and not just the security ones.
The minister of foreign affairs pointed out that Egypt hosts nine million refugees and migrants, expressing the country's desire for European support to its efforts in inhibiting the flow of illegal migrants through its borders.
In turn, Commissioner Schinas expressed the European Union's appreciation for the work carried out by the Egyptian state on that front, affirming readiness to provide more backing in light of the importance Egypt represents to the union.
The commissioner equally noted the EU's care to organizing the reception of Egyptian trained workers at its countries, and providing potential candidates with the necessary training to lower the rates of illegal migration.
The ministry's spokesperson, Ambassador Ahmed Abou Zeid, added, in the statement, that the talks similarly tackled economic cooperation between Egypt and the EU. On that front, Minister Shokry stipulated the importance of the "investment component in Egyptian-European relations."
The minister highlighted promising joint projects, such as the potential electricity linkage between Egypt and North Mediterranean countries, urging the EU to provide political support to those projects as they would achieve energy security to the continent.
In a similar context, the European commissioner asserted the EU's support to activities pertaining to promoting investment in Egypt, and encouragement to European companies and banks, such as the EBRD, to boost their investments in the country.
The meeting concluded by conferring over international challenges of mutual concern, primarily food security and combating terrorism. In that regard, the minister noted "the salience that the European Commission increases funding to partner developing countries most harmed by current international crises."
On another level, Minister Shokry commended the existing cooperation between Egypt and the European Union in the realm of combating terrorism bilaterally and trilaterally. In that context, the minister and the commissioner reiterated their aspiration to continue cooperation and coordination through chairmanship of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) that will begin in May.