Egypt has 'key' role in maintaining regional balance, European Commission president tells Sisi

Ahram Online , Thursday 17 Feb 2022

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen emphasised on Thursday that Egypt plays a "key and pivotal" role that achieves balance regarding all regional issues, noting that the European Union (EU) places "huge" interest on such a role.

Egypt s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi during a meeting with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, on the sidelines of his visit to the Belgian capital, Brussels, on Thursday, 17 February 2022 (Photo courtesy of the Egyptian presidency)

This came during a meeting with President Abdel-Fatthe El-Sisi in Brussels, Belgium, where the Egyptian president is participating in the sixth European Union (EU) - African Union (AU) Summit that is scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

The meeting reviewed the latest developments as regard to the relations between the two sides, especially the fields of renewable energy, infrastructure and green transformation, in light of Egypt's hosting of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 27), scheduled for November in the Red Sea city of Sharm El-Sheikh.

El-Sisi and Leyen also discussed means of cooperation in combating the irregular migration, extremist ideologies, and terrorism, according to presidential spokesperson Bassam Rady.

Additionally, the meeting touched upon multitude political issues of common interest in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa.

Leyen said Egypt is a key strategic partner to the EU, stressing the union's keenness to continue to develop cooperation ties with Egypt at various levels given what the North African country  represents as a fulcrum in the region.

El-Sisi, on his part, voiced his appreciation for the Egyptian-European Union relations, saying the 27-member bloc "is one of the most important linchpins of Egypt's policy," Rady noted.

The Egyptian president said the two sides are sharing in the Mediterranean regional neighborhood, stressing that such a geographical situation had historically an important impact in extending bridges of communication between Egypt and the European continent at civil, cultural, commercial and political levels.

During his participation in the EU-AU summit, El-Sisi will focus on various topics of concern to African nations, especially international efforts to facilitate these countries’ integration into the global economy.

He 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.

El-Sisi started his visit with meetings on Wednesday with several Belgian CEOs and company officials to discuss deepening cooperation with Egypt, especially in energy, infrastructure, and defence.

He also met with the European Council President Charles Michel on the same day when they 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.

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 at 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.

King Philippe of Belgium received El-Sisi in the Belgian Royal Palace also on the same day, and lauded Egypt’s pivotal role in consolidating stability in the Middle East and Africa.

Egypt’s efforts to combat terrorist groups over the past years have contributed to achieving security and stability in the region as well as Europe, the king said.

Philippe added that Egypt has been able to stop irregular migration from its lands to Europe, with officials affirming that no ship carrying irregular migrants has been allowed to leave Egypt’s coasts since 2016.


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