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Sisi hails Germany's support for Egypt, says migration issue won't be solved through security option

Ahram Online, Tuesday 30 Oct 2018
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attend a news conference at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, October 30, 2018 Reuters
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Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said on Tuesday in a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel that Egypt aims to boost investment and trade with Germany, and that the two countries have agreed to develop joint security and military cooperation.

During the presser, El-Sisi hailed Germany's support for Egypt's battle against terrorism, extremism as well as the economic reform programme Egypt started implementing in 2016.

The two leaders said that they discussed irregular migration, combating terrorism, as well as international and regional issues of mutual concern.

El-Sisi also highlighted that the security option alone is not enough to solve the issue of irregular migration.

The Egyptian president has been discussing ways to combat irregular migration with German officials over the past few days.

El-Sisi said that during the talks, he discussed the heavy burden that Egypt bears when it comes to this issue given its location and the fact that it hosts millions refugees. He also highlighted that the country has made huge strides in stopping migration from its shores to Europe since 2016.

The Egyptian president is on a four-day official visit to Berlin – his third since he took office in 2014 – that started on Sunday, where he met with a number of German officials to discuss strengthening relations and boosting cooperation.

During the joint press conference, El-Sisi expressed his happiness with the rise in German tourism to Egypt, which he says is returning to its previous levels.

In 2015, a number of European countries, including Germany, introduced restrictions on flights to Sharm El-Sheikh over security concerns after a Russian passenger jet crashed in Sinai, killing 224 people, most of whom were holidaymakers.

Germany lifted its flight restrictions in 2017.

Chancellor Merkel said that she and President El-Sisi discussed the current challenges facing Egypt, stressing that "Germany is keen to support Egypt and its stability."

She has also pledged to offer the second tranche of a 500 million euro grant that the Egyptian government has been receiving since 2017 to support medium and small enterprises.

"There are renewed and diverse developments in relations in the areas of culture, society and development," Merkel said.

According to the German Chancellor, the two leaders also discussed the situations in Libya and Syria, stressing the importance of supporting the efforts of the UN envoy in Syria. 

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