Italian FM: We must benefit from Egypt’s counterterrorism experience



Sun, 05 Aug 2018 - 03:29 GMT


Sun, 05 Aug 2018 - 03:29 GMT

 (L)- press photoEgyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (R) and Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Milanesi - press photo

(L)- press photoEgyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (R) and Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Milanesi - press photo

CAIRO – 5 August 2018: A variety of topics dealing with illegal immigration, the Palestinian issue, terrorism and the relationship between Italy and Egypt was discussed by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Milanesi in a press conference at the Tahrir Palace.

Both ministers discussed how to develop bilateral relations in all fields and they also opened up on regional issues of common concern.

Shoukry expressed his hope in that the Italian Foreign Minister’s visit is the first since 2015. He said that Cairo and Rome are working to strengthen relations and the challenges facing both countries in the crisis of terrorism. He added that Egypt and Italy will work together to enhance cooperation between the two countries, as their bilateral relations, particularly in terms of economic development, were discussed.

“There are historic ties between Cairo and Rome and we must remember the importance of cooperation in various fields,” said Milanesi.

An important matter addressed was that of Libya; how to maintain its stability and how to eliminate terrorism.

Milanesi stressed on the importance of holding Libyan elections so that their citizens can have a voice and a word that counts.

“Egypt supports the settlement efforts in Libya with the aim of eliminating terrorism and achieving stability,” said Shoukry.

Aside from terrorism, a troubling and current issue faced by both Italy and Egypt remains to be illegal immigration.

Milanesi praised Egypt’s efforts in dealing with the issue of illegal immigration. He expressed that although the immigrants are seeking a better future, it is important that matters in their home countries are resolved for stability.

Shoukry explained that Egypt has been able to stop the illegal migration flows from the Egyptian coast since September 2016.

“We appreciate Egypt's efforts in the face of illegal immigration but the steady flow of migrants must end,” said Milanesi. He added on to stress on the importance of curbing immigration levels, a matter that worries most European countries today.

Egypt deals with the issue of refugees in the region from a humanitarian perspective and rejects solutions based on the placement of refugees in camps or assembly centers that could isolate them from society.

The pressing issue of terrorism was also a matter of discussion as both states hope to protect their citizens from what many countries suffer from.

“Egypt's experience is great in the fight against terrorism and we must benefit from it,” said Milanesi.

Historically speaking, Cairo and Rome have strong ties and cooperation. This cooperation is critical for future success and for the strengthening of both states.

Being that Italy is the largest importer to Egypt with $1.8 billion and the fifth largest foreign investor in Egypt worth €7 billion, the two foreign ministers reviewed the most important features of the economic relations between the two countries.

“Cooperation between Egypt and Italy with respect to natural gas has contributed to strengthening relations and achieving even more discoveries,” said the Egyptian Foreign Minister.

As 2019 in Egypt has been declared the ‘Year of Education’ by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, the Egyptian foreign minister also shared that there is great interest by the Egyptian government in establishing an Italian university in Egypt by launching a partnership between a public university, universities and academic institutions.

Alongside hopes in educational cooperation, Milanesi seeks to invest more funding in support of small and medium industries sector in Egypt, as well as supporting the agricultural sector and increasing dependence on Egyptian agricultural exports.



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