Sisi, European Council president agree on enhancing consultations on Libya, supporting political settlement

Amr Kandil , Wednesday 16 Feb 2022

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and European Council President Charles Michel have agreed on the necessity of enhancing channels of consultation on Libya during a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (L) meets with President of the European Council Charles Michel in Brussels, 16 February 2022. Egyptian Presidency

El-Sisi and Michel discussed Egypt-EU coordination on a number of regional issues addressed at international events, and they agreed on continuing to support the path of political settlement in Libya, Egyptian presidential spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement.

On Thursday, Libya's House of Representatives, based in Libya's east, approved Fathi Bashagha to head the Libyan government in a challenge to the administration of interim premier Abdul-Hamid Dbeibah, who was selected by the UN-led Libyan Political Dialogue Forum in February last year.

Libya has been in political limbo after it failed to hold the long-awaited presidential and parliamentary elections on time last December, which were part of the UN-brokered peace process last year to end a decade of turmoil in the Arab country.

Separately on Wednesday, King Philippe of Belgium received El-Sisi in the Belgian Royal Palace.

El-Sisi arrived on Tuesday in the Belgian capital, where he is scheduled to attend the Sixth European Union-African Union Summit and hold talks with EU leaders and a number of heads of state and government on boosting bilateral cooperation and consultation on various regional and international issues.

Egypt looks forward to enhancing cooperation with the EU in countering terrorism and extremism with a comprehensive approach that addresses the main roots of these phenomena, El-Sisi told Michel.

Michel voiced appreciation for Egypt’s efforts to combat irregular migration, praising Egypt as a successful model in the region in this regard under the decisive and wise leadership of El-Sisi.

Michel also affirmed Europe’s keenness to strengthen relations with Egypt on various levels, especially in light of Egypt’s position as a link between the Arab and European worlds and the country’s political significance regionally and internationally.

Both leaders expressed satisfaction with the institutional cooperation between Egypt and the EU at the political, economic and developmental levels.

El-Sisi also met today with the executive directors of a number of Belgian companies to discuss advancing cooperation in the economic, commercial, and investment spheres.

The president discussed cooperation in green hydrogen production for power generation in a meeting with the CEOs of DEME Group, Port of Antwerp company, and Fluxys.

CEO Jean-Luc Maurange of John Cockerill Defence also met with El-Sisi, where he highlighted the company’s keenness to cooperate with Egypt, especially in light of the country’s vital role in ensuring stability and security in the Middle East, the Eastern Mediterranean and Africa.

Topics of focus at Brussels summit

The Sixth EU-AU Summit in Brussels is scheduled for Thursday and Friday with the attendance of leaders from the EU and AU to discuss many key topics, including climate, energy, and vaccine production.

The summit 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, the spokesman said.

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.

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.

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