President Sisi heads to Brussels to attend 6th EU-AU Summit

Amr Kandil , Tuesday 15 Feb 2022

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is heading on Tuesday to Brussels, Belgium to partake in the sixth European Union (EU) - African Union (AU) Summit that is scheduled for 17 and 18 February.

File photo: Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi. Reuters

The summit, in which leaders of the EU and AU as well as their respective member states meet, aims to ensure renewed and deeper partnership between both blocs based on trust and clear understanding of shared interests, said the European Council.

During his participation, El-Sisi will focus on various topics of concern to African nations, especially international efforts to facilitate these countries’ integration into the global economy, Presidential Spokesperson Bassam Rady said in a statement on Tuesday.

El-Sisi will also highlight the necessity to provide effective support to African countries in achieving the United Nations’ 2030 sustainable development goals (SDGs), transfer technology to developing countries, empower them to rely on renewable energy sources, and boost investments in them.

Furthermore, the president will discuss Egypt’s scheduled hosting of the 27th UN Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP27) in November  and the country’s efforts to achieve balanced and implementable outcomes during the event.

El-Sisi is also expected to focus on the need to formulate a common vision to support and finance Africa during the coronavirus pandemic while facilitating access to and distributing equitably various technologies related to the pandemic, especially with regard to vaccine production, said Rady.

During his visit, El-Sisi will hold summit discussions with King Phillippe Leopold of Belgium and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo to discuss means of boosting bilateral relations and coordinate and consult on a number of regional and international issues of mutual concern, according to the spokesperson.

Additionally, the Egyptian president will hold discussions with EU leaders and a number of heads of state and government on the side-lines of the EU-AU Summit on boosting bilateral cooperation and consultation on various regional and international issues.

Moreover, he will hold a meeting with a group of Belgian businessmen to discuss ways of advancing cooperation in the economic, commercial, and investment spheres between the two sides.

Late in January, El-Sisi and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen held discussions over the phone, where they agreed on the necessity of continued consultations and exchanging viewpoints to reach political settlements to various crises in the region.

Von Der Leyen expressed the EU’s wish to advance cooperation with Egypt on various levels due to it being a centre of gravity in the region, praising Egypt’s efforts in combating terrorism and its success in combating irregular migration.

The phone call also addressed developments in the region, the statement said, adding that Von der Leyen affirmed the EU’s interest in coordinating with El-Sisi over critical regional and international issues, including Egypt’s hosting of the COP27.

The EU-AU Summit is expected to tackle many topics, including climate change, energy transition, vaccine production, health systems, growth financing, sustainable development, agriculture, education, culture, migration, economic integration, peace, and security, according to the European Council.

Participants are expected to adopt “a joint declaration on a joint vision for 2030” during the summit, said the European Council.

The EU-AU Summit was established in April 2000, when it was held for the first time in Cairo under the auspices of the Organisation of African Unity (Now the AU) and the EU, resulting in a plan of action being adopted.

The summit aims to set political priorities between the two sides and address current and renewed challenges.

“The European side is one of the most prominent international partners with which the AU is keen to strengthen ties, especially with regard to development files and the protection of international peace and security,” the Egyptian presidential spokesperson said.

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