Egypt's FM to receive Sudanese, Saudi, French counterparts, visit Algeria this week

Ahram Online , Saturday 3 Jun 2017

Meetings this week will focus on efforts against terrorism and in particular prospects of a political settlement in Libya

Egypt's FM Sameh Shoukry (Reuters)

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is preparing for a busy diplomatic week that will include meetings with a number of Arab and European counterparts, ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid has said, according to the MENA state-owned news agency.

The meetings will focus on bilateral and regional issues, especially relations with Sudan, Saudi Arabia and France, added Abu Zeid.

Shoukry received Saturday Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour in Cairo with the two set to hold a joint press conference later today, MENA reported.

The two will discuss bilateral relations as well as recent regional and international developments, according to Abu Zeid.

The visit comes as Sudan's cabinet approved Tuesday a ban on imports of agricultural and animal products from Egypt, and also comes amid political tension that has flared between Cairo and Khartoum recently.

On Sunday, Shoukry is set to meet with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir in Cairo. Saudi Arabia and Egypt have seen several official visits recently, with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi meeting Saudi King Salman in the kingdom in April and May.

On Monday, Shoukry is heading to Algeria on a two-day visit where he is expected to participate in a meeting with the Tunisian and Algerian foreign ministers to discuss counterterrorism efforts in Libya, coordination to address obstacles to the Skhirat agreement, and the impact of the Libyan crisis on neighbouring countries.

The Skhirat agreement was signed in Morocco in December 2015 and mandates a peaceful transition of power in Libya and the establishment of a national unity government.

On Thursday, Shoukry will receive French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Cairo. Le Drain is expected to meet also with President El-Sisi.

The visit is the first under newly elected French President Emanuel Macron, and is scheduled to focus on counterterrorism, Middle East developments, and the Libyan situation. They also will discuss the bilateral relations between the two countries.

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