Gov’t keen to facilitate flow of Italian investments into Egypt: FM Shoukry

Ahram Online , Thursday 2 Feb 2023

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry has affirmed the keenness of Egypt’s government to facilitate the flow of Italian investments into the promising sectors of the Egyptian market.

Egypt s FM Sameh Shoukry (R) receives Stefania Craxi, chairwoman of the Italian Senate s Defence and Foreign Affairs Committee, in Cairo, 2 February 2023. Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Shoukry made the remarks in a meeting on Thursday with Stefania Craxi, chairwoman of the Italian Senate's Defence and Foreign Affairs Committee, who is currently on a visit to Egypt, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Shoukry also stressed the Egyptian government’s keenness to enhance the engagement of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) in the national development projects in Egypt, especially the Decent Life initiative.

Over the past year, Egypt has been mobilising support from international partners and local businessmen for the initiative, which aims to improve the lives of almost 60 percent of Egypt’s 104-million population.

For her part, Craxi affirmed that Italy attaches priority to boosting cooperation with Egypt in all fields in light of the friendship that binds both countries.

Shoukry and Craxi discussed several issues of mutual concern, at the top of which was irregular migration across the Mediterranean.

In this regard, Shoukry discussed Egypt’s vision for tackling irregular migration based on a comprehensive approach that goes beyond the security aspect to include developmental and social dimensions.

Cairo has stepped up its efforts since 2016 to deal with irregular migration, when President El-Sisi launched the country’s first national strategy to combat irregular migration, affirming that Egypt will not be a transit point for illegal migrants heading for Europe.

Shoukry and Craxi also discussed efforts to combat terrorism, including draining its sources of financing and dealing with the economic, social, and religious roots behind the phenomenon.

On human rights, Craxi hailed Egypt’s launch of the National Strategy for Human Rights in September 2021 and the progress made to implement it in a way that contributes to improving the lives of citizens.

Shoukry and Craxi also discussed a number of regional and international issues of mutual concern, especially the Russia-Ukraine crisis and its negative repercussions on the economies of developing countries.

They agreed that the impact of the Ukraine war requires concerted international efforts to resolve the crisis at the earliest opportunity.

The two diplomats also discussed the current escalation in the Palestinian territories as well as the crisis in Libya. Shoukry reviewed the Egyptian efforts to reach a settlement for these issues and restore stability and peace to the region.

High-level visits

The two countries coordinate on regional issues, especially the Libyan crisis, with both affirming the need to reach a solution to the crisis that has lasted more than a decade.

Libya and irregular migration were the focus of discussions during Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani’s visit to Cairo last month.

Tajani’s visit came two months after Shoukry made an official visit to Italy late in November to enhance bilateral relations and attend the eighth edition of the Rome MED – Mediterranean Dialogues conference in December.

Firm relations

Cairo and Rome share firm relations on the political and economic levels. In October, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said her country is ready to enhance bilateral cooperation with Egypt in energy security, Mediterranean and Middle East stability, human rights, and religious freedom.

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

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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