Egypt’s FM starts Italy visit, to attend Rome Med Dialogues

Amr Kandil , Wednesday 30 Nov 2022

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry started an official visit to Italy on Wednesday to enhance bilateral relations between the two countries and to attend the eighth edition of the Rome MED – Mediterranean Dialogues conference, slated for 1-3 December in Rome.

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The conference, held under the theme “weathering the storm: interdependence, resilience and cooperation,” will see the participation of foreign ministers from across the Mediterranean region, as well as representatives from many international organisations.

The conference has devoted a dialogue session for the Egyptian FM to showcase both Egypt’s vision of regional and international developments and the challenges it faces as a result of the food and energy crises, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement today.

During the conference, Shoukry will also review the results of the 27th UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) which was held in Sharm El-Sheikh earlier in November, the ministry noted.

The conference comes “within the framework of enhancing efforts to face joint challenges connected to incumbent international developments,” the ministry added.

Meeting FAO chief

Shoukry started his visit to Rome with a meeting with Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations Qu Dongyu, in which he affirmed Egypt’s commitment to supporting the organisation’s role, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Shoukry stressed the necessity to continue the fruitful cooperation between Egypt and FAO, especially with regards to the South-South Cooperation projects in Africa.

Shoukry also hailed the organisation’s participation in COP27.

The Egyptian FM and Dongyu expressed aspiration to work closely to implement Egypt Vision 2030.

Both officials highlighted their keenness to address issues of food security in light of the current international situation.

They also stressed the importance of supporting countries affected by the food crisis and of working to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Furthermore, they expressed their committment to realising a world free from hunger.

Enhancing Egyptian-Italian relations

During his visit, Shoukry will discuss with Italy’s Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani the distinguished and growing bilateral relations between Egypt and Italy, especially economic cooperation and attracting more Italian investments to Egypt, the ministry said.

The foreign ministers will also consult on regional and international issues of mutual concern, the ministry added.

Egypt and Italy enjoy strong relationships on the political and economic levels. Italy is one of Egypt's largest trade partners in the European Union.

In October, new Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said her country was ready to enhance bilateral cooperation with Egypt in energy security, Mediterranean and Middle East stability, human rights, and religious freedom.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi met with Meloni in Sharm El-Sheikh on the sidelines of COP27. During the meeting, both leaders discussed fostering relations between the two countries in various fields, including investment, trade and economy, as well as promoting cooperation in the fields of security and industry.

Economic relations, investments

In 2021, the trade volume between the two countries rose by 29 percent to reach $5.8 billion, up from $4.5 billion in the previous year.

Egypt’s exports to Italy rose by 91.4 percent in 2021, bringing in nearly $2.8 billion, up from $1.5 billion in 2020.

Italian investments in Egypt also rose by 40.3 percent: from $320 million during the last quarter of FY 2020/2021 to $448.8 million during the first quarter of FY 2021/2022.

The two countries are also members of the Cairo-based East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF), which was formed in 2019 to establish a regional gas market in the Eastern Mediterranean and to enhance trade relations between its eight member states.

In 2015, the Italian energy giant Eni helped Egypt discover the Zohr natural gas field in its Mediterranean waters, catapulting the country to becoming a major producer of the alternative energy source.

 

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