Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (L) and European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos (R) - photo courtesy of Ministry of Foreign Affairs official website
CAIRO – 6 March 2017: Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met Monday with the European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs, Dimitris Avramopoulos, to brief him on Egypt’s latest efforts to quash illegal migration, according to Foreign Ministry press statement.
During the meeting, Mr. Avramopoulos said Egypt will be considered a strategic partner for Europe for decades to come.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid said talks with Avramopoulos included Egypt’s stand on illegal immigration. Avramopoulos confirmed the EU’s readiness to cooperate with Egypt and boost its capabilities to be able to monitor and regulate the borders.
Shoukry also reviewed the efforts exerted by the Egyptian government to combat illegal immigration, starting with the formation of a national committee to combat illegal immigration and the drafting of a law criminalizing it.
Illegal immigration needs to be considered not only from a security standpoint but also in studying the social and economic aspects that encourage people to migrate illegally, said Shoukry.
Egypt is against setting up camps for refugees and illegal immigrants, Shoukry said, adding that they live freely on Egyptian soil and enjoy all the services available to Egyptian citizens. Avramopoulos acknowledged Egypt’s handling of the situation and stressed that the EU does not want Egypt to set up detention centers, but rather hopes to help Egypt boost its abilities to get rid to the roots of the situation.