Egyptian-European Summit chance to deepen cooperation on bilateral and regional issues: Sisi

Ahram Online , Sunday 17 Mar 2024

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Sunday called the European-Egyptian Summit a chance to deepen cooperation on regional and bilateral issues.

This handout picture provided by the Cypriot government s Press and Information Office (PIO) shows Egypt s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his officials in a summit meeting with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Austria s Chancellor Karl Nehammer, Belgium s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides, Greece s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and Italy s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in Cairo. Photo: AFP


The six-party Summit, which kicked off in Cairo on Sunday, brought together President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, and heads of state and government from Cyprus, Italy, Greece, and Austria.

President El-Sisi said the meeting reflects the depth of political, economic, commercial, and cultural relations between Egypt and the European Union, Italy, Greece, Belgium, Cyprus, and Austria.

The summit “reflects the impetus these relations, already based on mutual respect and common interests, have recently gained on the political, economic, and cultural levels," the president added.

Furthermore, El-Sisi highlighted that a political declaration between Egypt and the European Union to elevate relations to the level of “comprehensive and strategic partnership” will be signed during the summit.

“Egypt has always accorded special importance to the distinguished relations it shares with the European Union and its countries,” the president said.

"This stems from our firm belief in the centrality of the partnership with the European Union to serve the common political, economic, and security interests of both sides to achieve security, peace, and stability in the region,” El-Sisi noted.

The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen had written earlier on X: "Glad to be in Cairo, marking a new milestone in the EU-Egypt strategic partnership."

"Egypt's political and economic weight, coupled with its strategic location in a troubled neighbourhood, will only amplify the significance of our relations in the future," von der Leyen said.




“This is a historic moment,” she said during the opening of the meeting.

Von der Leyen also praised Egypt’s efforts to bring more humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip, which she said is facing famine.

“It is important to reach a ceasefire agreement,” she added. 

Belgian PM Alexander De Croo, the EU chief, stressed the urgency of elevating relations with Egypt amid the increasing turmoil worldwide.

He also called for addressing the illegal immigration issue and its underlying causes.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades emphasized Egypt's proximity to Europe, underscoring its pivotal role in enhancing regional security.

“Egypt is a mainstay of stability in the region,” he added.

Furthermore, Anastasiades affirmed that the two-state solution is the only viable way to solve the Palestinian issue

Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis highlighted Egypt’s crucial role in the stability of Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean, adding that bilateral cooperation is ongoing in several domains, especially new and renewable energy.

Italian PM Giorgia Meloni said Europe is keen to enhance cooperation with Egypt to face mutual challenges, including illegal immigration.

She also voiced her country’s support for Egypt's mediation in reaching a ceasefire in Gaza.

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