A 12-member Egyptian-German Parliamentary Friendship Association was officially formed in Cairo on Monday with the aim of reinforcing relations between Egypt's parliament and Germany's Bundestag in combating terrorism, fighting illegal migration and promoting tourism, according to Egyptian parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Aal
The association, led by Egyptian MP and former minister of foreign affairs Mohamed El-Orabi, met with Abdel-Aal, who said he has high hopes that the association will do its best to boost bilateral relations between Egypt and Germany.
Abdel-Aal told reporters that "there has been a lot of positive progress in relations between Egypt and Germany in 2017 and we hope that the new friendship association among MPs in the two countries will reflect this progress."
Karen Mag, a female MP who heads the Egypt Friends Group in the German Bundestag, said the Egypt-German Friendship Association was formed after German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Egypt two weeks ago.
"The visit demonstrated that Egypt and Germany can be very successful partners and so we decided that a parliamentary friendship association be formed to open dialogue between MPs in the two countries on a permanent basis," said Mag.
MP Mohamed El-Orabi said the Egypt-German Parliamentary Friendship Association will help discuss mutual issues in an objective way.
"The association will help German MPs and politicians in particular understand political and economic developments in Egypt in a much better way," said El-Orabi, adding that "the association will open discussion on vital issues such as the role of German NGOs in Egypt and the importance of exchanging information on terrorism and illegal immigration."
El-Orabi, a former Egyptian ambassador to Germany, said that while Egypt is highly aware of Germany's influence in Europe and the European Union (EU), German politicians and MPs recognise that Egypt has a lot of influence in the Arab world and North Africa.
The German MPs met with the Egyptian parliament's committees on foreign relations, education, legislative and constitutional affairs, and social solidarity.