Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi held a series of bilateral talks on Sunday with EU and Arab leaders, hours before the first-ever EU-Arab League summit is due to start in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh.
El-Sisi discussed Egypt's political and economic ties with the European Union during a meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk, who is co-chairing the two-day gathering with El-Sisi.
The pair touched on the conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Libya as well as stalled Middle East peace efforts, El-Sisi’s spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement.
The two leaders also discussed cooperation between Egypt and Europe in fighting terrorism and violent extremism.
A total of 24 leaders from the bloc’s 28 member states, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May, as well as the leaders of 21 Arab countries, will take part in the first joint summit of Arab League and European Union leaders.
Climate change, terrorism, migration and Middle East stability will be at the heart of discussions during the two-day gathering.
El-Sisi also sat with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades on Sunday; the pair discussed cooperation in the energy sector as well as the tripartite cooperation between Egypt, Cyprus and Greece in place since 2014.
The Egyptian president also held talks with Saudi King Salman, a key ally of Egypt, where they discussed boosting Egyptian-Saudi cooperation as a "key pillar for protecting Arab security and confronting foreign interference in the sovereign affairs of Arab countries," the spokesman said in a separate statement on Sunday.
El-Sisi also met with Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi, Iraqi President Barham Salih and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.