Latvian FM urges further EU support to Egypt amid multiple challenges

Sunday 12 Jun 2022

Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs has urged further support by the European Union (EU) to Egypt amid the various challenges facing the country, especially surrounding migration.

Egypt s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Latvian counterpart Edgars Rink vi s speak in a joint press conference in Cairo, 12 June 2022. Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Rinkēvičs made the remarks in a joint press conference on Sunday with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, during the former's official visit to Cairo.

The Latvian FM also met today with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, during which they urged boosting cooperation in various fields and discussed regional and international challenges of mutual concern that face Africa and Europe, chief among which is irregular migration and terrorism.

During the joint press, Rinkēvičs said he agreed with Shoukry on the need for the EU to find ways to provide further support to Egypt amid challenges.

This includes also the challenges linked to energy, terrorism, security and migration, Rinkēvičs said.

Egypt says it hosts around six million refugees from several countries, including Syria.

Egypt has also been working to prevent irregular migration from its coasts toward Europe, affirming that no ship carrying irregular migrants has been allowed to leave Egyptian coasts since 2016.

Bilateral cooperation, mutual understanding

Shoukry and Rinkēvičs signed Sunday an agreement to promote cooperation in education and scientific research, was signed on the sidelines of talks held by the two top diplomats at the Egyptian ministry headquarters.

Discussions between the two ministers have addressed cooperation in the political, economic and investment domains as well as regional and international issues of mutual concern, the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

During the press conference with Rinkēvičs, Shoukry said Egypt is looking forward to enhancing cooperation with Latvia in the various fields and benefiting from Latvian experience in the education, technology and digitisation fields.

The meeting also highlighted the importance of boosting trade volume between Egypt and Latvia, Shoukry noted.

Rinkēvičs, for his part, hailed Egypt as an important partner to Latvia with regard to facing regional challenges, including security and migration.

Regional issues, human rights

The meeting discussed economic reforms in Egypt as well as regional developments in the Palestinian territories, Libya, and Ukraine, the top Egyptian diplomat said.

The issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia was also tackled during the meeting, Shoukry said.

Shoukry said he discussed the human rights file with Rinkēvičs, noting that their dialogue on this issue has been characterised by "much understanding on the ideal approach in addressing this issue to achieve the mutual goal of boosting human rights."

This comes within the framework of the [Egyptian] National Strategy for Human Rights and Egypt's cooperation with the EU to build the Egyptian capacities in this regard, Shoukry added.

Shoukry's remarks come while the Egyptian National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) said on Thursday that it will sign a cooperation programme with the EU and the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) on implementing the national human rights strategy.

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