Egypt's Interior Minister Mohamed Tawfik discussed cooperation to stem illegal migration with European Union Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos during talks in Cairo on Wednesday.
Minister Tawfik said that Egypt is looking to boost cooperation with the EU to exchange security information to help fight terrorism, organised crime and illegal migration.
During the meeting, the minister reviewed the ministry's proactive strategy to combat organised crime, and Egypt's success in eliminating illegal migration as a result of recent concentrated security campaigns targeting those facilitating illegal immigration in border governorates.
Avramopoulos said he looks to strengthen cooperation with interior ministry to curb illegal migration, stressing the importance of boosting regional efforts in this regard.
According to the statement, Avramopoulos said that the migrant influx to Europe over the past few years, with many fleeing conflicts in the Middle East and Africa, posed a threat of infiltration by extremists among the migrants, and that organised crime and illegal migration are closely linked to terrorism.
The number of illegal migrants entering the European Union dropped sharply for the third year in a row in 2018 to 150,114 from 204,750 the year before, according to the EU’s border control agency Frontex.