Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry delivers his speech during 6th Regional Forum of the Union for Mediterranean (UfM), which kicked off in Barcelona on Monday, 29 November 2021. (Photo courtesy of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
The current forum seeks to further cooperation between member states, address environment and climate change issues, achieve sustainable economic and social development, and create job opportunities for young people, Shoukry said.
The FM said that the UfM's goals go in line with Egypt's national strategy 'Egypt Vision 2030', which focuses on the attainment of sustainable development goals.
Shoukry highlighted the outcomes of the second ministerial conference of the UfM on the environment and climate action, hosted by Cairo in October, including the achievement of regional cooperation in terms of climate change issues, and providing the needed financial support to developing countries to address the effects of climate change.
Minister Shoukry expressed Egypt's keenness to coordinate with all partners to ensure the success of the UN Climate Change Conference 2022 (COP 27), which is slated for November 2022 in Sharm El-Sheikh.
Egypt's top diplomat emphasised the necessity of encouraging investments and creating jobs in the southern Mediterranean region, which he said enjoys "massive" natural and human resources.
Shoukry also called for the swift revival of negotiations to reach a final settlement to the Palestinian issue based on a two-state solution along the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.
The Barcelona forum, Shoukry pointed out, coincides with the 30th anniversary of the Madrid peace conference which sought to end the Arab-Israeli conflict and reach enduring, just, and durable peace in the Middle East.
"Let us, on this occasion, draw inspiration from the spirit of Madrid and call upon all concerned parties to work seriously to solve the Palestinian issue," the Egyptian foreign minister assured.
"The Palestinian issue is still at the heart of the causes of instability in our regional neighbourhood," he said.
The FM also called for halting all unilateral measures, most notably the Israeli settlement activities in the Palestinian territories.