Cairo hosts Sweden’s MENA Regional Meeting

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Fri, 14 Feb 2020 - 02:41 GMT

Participants of the annual meeting of Swedish Ambassadors in the MENA region pose for a photo- press photo

Participants of the annual meeting of Swedish Ambassadors in the MENA region pose for a photo- press photo

CAIRO - 14 February 2020: The Embassy of Sweden in Cairo hosted the annual meeting of Swedish Ambassadors in the MENA region from February 9 to 13, said the embassy in a statement on Friday.

Sweden and Egypt also conducted UN and bilateral consultations during the week to discuss bilateral and multilateral topics of common concern and opportunities to develop further cooperation between the two countries.

“I’m delighted that Egypt and Cairo were chosen to host this year’s annual Swedish MENA ambassadors’ meeting. A group of some 50 ambassadors and high officials have gathered under the leadership of three deputy ministers, which gave us a great opportunity to hold bilateral meetings with Egyptian ministries, businesses and civil society,” said H.E Jan Thesleff, Ambassador of Sweden to Egypt.
Thesleff pointed out that this visit underscores Egypt’s great importance to Sweden.

During the week, Sweden’s Deputy Foreign Minister Robert Rydberg has also met with Egypt’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister for African Affairs, H.E. Hamdi Loza. Sweden’s Deputy Minister for International Development Cooperation, Per Olsson Fridh and the Deputy Minister for Foreign Trade Krister Nilsson also visited Cairo. The Director General for Sida, Carin Jämtin, and the Director General for the Folke Bernadotte Academy, Sven-Eric Söder, also visited Cairo and met with their Egyptian counterparts.

Important matters discussed during the ambassadorial meetings this week were recent developments in the MENA region, Swedish foreign policy priorities and forthcoming trade promotion activities (including the upcoming Expo 2020 in Dubai).

Deputy Minister Krister Nilsson also met with Egypt’s Deputy Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Osama Asran and the Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development H.E. Assem El Gazzar. During the meetings, they discussed the ongoing bilateral cooperation with Egypt, in the field of energy and urban mobility.

Moreover, the week included political consultations with the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs headed by the Assistant of Foreign Minister for European Affairs, H.E. Ambassador Badr Abdel Aty, along with Assistant Foreign Minister for Sudan Affairs, H.E. Ambassador Osama Shaltout and Assistant Foreign Minister for Arab Affairs H.E. Ambassador Affairs Yasser Othman.

During the meeting, the bilateral relation between Egypt and Sweden was discussed, as well as between Egypt and the European Union. Further, migration and security, regional issues and Egypt’s chairmanship of the African Union was brought up during the talks.

Ambassador Ann Dismorr, head of the department for Middle East and North Africa at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, who headed the Swedish side during the political consultations said that Sweden is very keen to develop and deepen its bilateral cooperation with Egypt, especially in the fields of energy, natural gas, smart transportation in new cities and electronic governance among others.

Deputy Minister Krister Nilsson also met with the founders of Swedish startups in Egypt, to discuss future expansion plans and projects in the country. In addition, he also met with Swedish life sciences companies to discuss investment plans in the fast-growing Egyptian market.

During the UN Consultations the Swedish and the Egyptian side discussed common priorities such as Peace Building and Peace Keeping and the important role of women in these activities.

Sweden and Egypt’s trade relationship has long-standing ties. Egypt is the second top Swedish trading partner, both in the Middle East and in Africa. Sweden and Egypt trade exchange hiked by 37% in the second half of 2020 fiscal year.

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