One of the families among a group of 25 refugees flown to Niger from Libya on the way to eventually settling in France © AFP / by Claire GALLEN
CAIRO – 18 February 2019: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi announced that the upcoming Arab-European summit due on February 24 and 25 in Sharm El-Sheikh will be a good platform to hold more discussions on the illegal migration file.
"Sharm El-Sheikh conference is a key step towards more cooperation that will be followed by other steps,” President Sisi said, adding that the instability of some Arab countries led to the illegal migration inbound to Europe.
The two-day summit will gather, for the first time, heads of the member states of the Arab League and the European Union. It will be co-chaired between President Sisi and President of European Council Donald Tusk, according to the EU’s statement.
Egypt and the European Union held several discussions to reach a deal to curb the illegal migration phenomenon as it was reported by Financial Times and Anadolu Agency. Egypt has announced that nota single illegal migration case crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Europe from its shores, pushing the European Union to count more on Cairo to cub this phenomenon.
On January 18, 2019, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi received a phone call from Tusk, discussing ways of combating illegal migration to European countries, according to a statement from the Egyptian Presidency.
Both Tusk, and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, whose country holds the current presidency of the EU, paid Egypt a visit in September 2018.
In his speech with Austrian Chancellor Kurz in Vienna on December 17, 2018, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said that Egypt prevented a total of 11,000 refugees from migrating to Europe in 2018.
President Sisi added that his country is hosting more than 5million migrants and refugees, registered and unregistered.
“As of November 31, 2018, Egypt hosts more than 242,000 registered refugees and asylum-seekers of 58 different countries including: Syria (55 percent), Sudan (16.9 percent), Ethiopia (6.51 percent), Eritrea (6.27 percent), and South Sudan (5.88 percent),” said the UNHCR in a statement on January 14.
In his two-day visit to Egypt on January 13-14, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi met with President Sisi to discussEgypt’s roles in combating illegal migration.