Stability, int'l solidarity necessary for global economy's vitality: Shoukry to G20 FMs

Habiba Hamdy , Thursday 2 Mar 2023

A political message that supports stability, international solidarity, and conflict resolution is of paramount importance for the vitality of the global economy and the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry said on Thursday.

Egyptian Foreign Sameh Shoukry during his participation in a meeting of the G20 Foreign Ministers in New Delhi on Thursday (photo courtesy of Foreign Ministry)


The statement was made during a meeting of a Group of 20 (G20) Foreign Ministers in New Delhi, India, where a series of meetings are held on Wednesday and Thursday, said official Spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry Ahmed Abu Zeid.

In October 2022, India -- the president of the G20 in 2023 --- invited Egypt to participate as a guest country in the G20 meetings, in which Ambassador Ragy El-Etreby, assistant minister of foreign affairs for international and regional multilateral economic affairs, is the personal representative of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi at the year-long meetings.

Egypt will add “great value” to the G20 meetings. The summit will include discussions over climate change and supporting developing countries, Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said in October following India's invitation.

In his speech on Thursday, Shoukry stressed that the international community suffers multiple challenges, such as climate change, debt, and the inflation of prices of food and energy, said the spokesperson.

Shoukry noted that Egypt, and Africa in general, are witnessing an increase in the prices of food and a shortage in some commodities.

Egypt is willing to cooperate with the international community and the G20 to host a supply and storage grain centre. This will contribute to higher food provision, reduce shortages, stabilise prices, and decrease supply chain disruptions, he stressed

The survival of the international community amid the current geopolitical problems hinges on several factors, including expanding the representation of global decision-makers, such as the Security Council, Shoukry said.

In addition, the international economic structure must be strengthened to support developing countries in weathering the economic fluctuations and achieving the SDGs, he added.

The Egyptian top diplomat urged G20 members to support the expanding engagement of multilateral development banks in combating poverty and supporting SDGs.

The international debt structure currently lacks proper reform and proper enhancement mechanisms which will lead to an increase in the debt burden on developing countries and threaten the progress made in the past decades to combat poverty, Shoukry said.

Finally, the minister drew attention to the Sustainable Debt Alliance that was launched on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Summit COP27. He reiterated the alliance’s goals of reducing the cost of green borrowing, improving the conditions of funding, and enhancing the conversion of debt into climate investments.

He expressed hope that the initiative will receive proper attention from both developing and developed countries.

 Bilateral meetings

The Egyptian foreign minister met with several counterparts on the sidelines of the G20 meeting, reported Abu Zeid.

He met with Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira and discussed the importance of bringing back the free trade agreement between Egypt and Mercosur.

Shoukry also held a meeting with British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly. The two officials discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest, particularly the occupied Palestinian territories.

Cleverly said he wanted to be briefed on Egypt’s vision to restore calm and break the current stagnation the peace process is witnessing. Shoukry stressed the importance of the international community’s role in stopping unilateral measures and helping restore negotiations.  

Shoukry also met with Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra.

Both parties tackled opportunities to bolster bilateral relations, especially in the field of economic and trade cooperation, with Shoukry welcoming the possibility of the Netherlands increasing its investments in Egypt. Egypt’s foreign minister also expressed the country’s desire to cooperate in the water management and agricultural fields.

Shoukry also commended Egypt and Canada’s economic and academic cooperation in his meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly, highlighting that Egypt is one of Canada’s biggest trading partners in Africa. He praised Canada’s consistent participation in the multinational forces in Sinai.

Shoukry met with Argentinian Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero on the same day to discuss bilateral cooperation. Both ministers shared their keenness to strengthen trade and economic relations, saying that Argentina is Egypt’s second largest trading partner in Latin America. They also spoke about the importance of maintaining food security across the world.

The Egyptian foreign minister tackled with the Canadian, British, and Brazilian foreign ministers the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the threat it poses to security and stability.  

Shoukry also met with his “brother” Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud on the sidelines of the G20 meeting.


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