Minister of foreign affairs Sameh Shoukrry - YOUM7 (Archive)/Hassan Mohamed
CAIRO – 5 March 2017: Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry headed to Brussels Sunday morning for a 24-hour visit aiming to promote consultation and coordination mechanisms with European Union (EU) officials, according to the State Information Service.
Shoukry will meet with the 28 EU foreign ministers to discuss strategic ties between Egypt and the EU, ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said. The meeting comes on the occasion of finalizing the EU-Egypt Association Agreement that “represents the general framework for Egypt's relations with the European institutions over the next three years.”
French foreign ministry spokesman Roman Nadal said Friday the ministers will discuss threats to the peace process in the Middle East and a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Youm7 reported.
According to Abu Zeid, Shoukry’s visit will tackle the latest developments in Egypt, Egypt’s role in Libya and Syria and the peace process between Palestine and Israel. Egypt’s vision in facing terrorism is also expected to be a central part of the discussion, as the Egyptian approach has been highly appreciated by Europe, Abu Zeid said.
Shokry will also meet with the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs
and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, Belgian Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Didier Reynders and EU Commissioner for Immigration and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos to discuss Egypt’s effort in combating illegal immigration, Abu Zeid said.
In February, the EU offered simplified visa procedures and more economic aid to Egypt in exchange for facilitating the expulsion of African migrants seeking to cross into Europe through Libya.
"Egypt has two concerns: socio-economic stability and security. And these are interlinked," an EU official said, according to Reuters. "So we are working on establishing a dialogue that would look at that, to the benefit of both the migrants there but also Egyptians from the most vulnerable groups," the unnamed official added.