Christian Berger, the head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt
Berger made his remarks to the Egyptian state new agency (MENA), adding that cooperation between Egypt and the EU will be furthered in 2023, especially on migration.
Berger highlighted an agreement signed last October to launch the first phase, worth 23 million euros, of a border management programme.
The programme will develop the capacity of the Egyptian authorities and civil society stakeholders to apply "rights-based, protection oriented and gender sensitive approaches" in border management.
Berger added that the second phase, worth 57 million euros, will be implemented with the Egyptian government this year.
He also lauded the positive implementation of a 2017 agreement, worth 60 million euros, that aimed to improve Egypt's migration management, solve the causes of irregular migration and to support those communities that host migrants and refugees.
Egypt has stepped up its efforts since 2016 to deal with irregular migration, when President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi launched the country’s first national strategy to combat irregular migration and ratified Law 82/2016 that set out penalties criminalising all forms of migrant smuggling.
President El-Sisi has affirmed that Egypt will not be a transit point for illegal migrants seeking to reach Europe.
Egypt hosts around nine million migrants and refugees, who have full autonomy and access to all basic services, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in December.