Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is bound for Brussels on Wednesday, where he will head the country’s delegation to the eighth Egypt-EU Association Council meeting on Thursday.
In an official statement, Egypt’s foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez said Shoukry and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini will co-chair the meeting.
The meeting aims to continue dialogue between Egypt and the EU to boost and explore new means of cooperation in various economic, social, and political fields, as well as presenting progress made as part of the Egyptian-European Association Agreement.
Issues of bilateral interest, including the peace process in the Middle East, the situation in Libya, Syria, terrorism, and illegal migration will also be discussed.
This comes in light of implementing partnership priorities from 2017-2020 and the development of cooperation between both sides since the convocation of the last session in July 2017.
The EU-Egypt Association Agreement, which was signed in 2001, has been in force since 2004.
It creates a free-trade area between the EU and Egypt by removing tariffs on industrial products and making agricultural products easier to trade.
The agreement has made the EU the top trade partner for Egypt, according to Hafez.
EU-Egypt trade has more than doubled from 11.8 billion euros in 2004 to 27.9 billion euros in 2017.
The EU is both Egypt's biggest import and export partner, covering 29.7 percent of Egypt's trade volume in 2017.