Egypt rejects European proposals for 'illegal migrants' camps in Africa

Ahram Online , Thursday 2 Feb 2017

A foreign affairs ministry official said that the EU should instead invest in more jobs in the southern Mediterranean region and African continent

File Photo: Migrant children processed by Serbian police, 2016. (Reuters)

Egypt announced its rejection on Thursday of establishing camps for irregular immigrants in Africa, following a recent meeting of European Union (EU) interior ministers who discussed the possibility of financing camps on the continent.

Hisham Badr, Egypt’s assistant foreign minister for multilateral affairs, called on Europe instead to increase investments to create more jobs in the southern Mediterranean region and African continent to curb irregular migration.  

Badr’s statement came ahead of his visit to Geneva upon an official invitation from the International Organization For Migration (IOM) to present Egypt’s expertise in combating irregular migration. 

In November 2016, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi signed into law a bill aimed at curbing illegal immigration and cracking down on human smuggling amid a hike in the number of migrants departing from the country to Europe.

Last week, interior ministers from the EU discussed in a meeting the possibility of financing camps in Africa where the UN's refugee agency and aid groups would process migrants to prevent them from trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.

Nearly 210,000 irregular immigrants arrived in Europe across the Mediterranean from January to June 2016.

Around 3000 irregular immigrants drowned in the Mediterranean during the same period, according to the IOM. 

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