Egypt FM Sameh Shoukry (Reuters)
Speaking at Egypt's World Youth Forum on Sunday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry asserted that illegal migration can pose dangers that threaten the lives of youth, particularly when it is tied to crimes of human trafficking, the ministry's spokesperson Ahmed Abo Zeid said in a statement.
Shoukry made his speech on the second day of the international forum during a session entitled "The Negative Influence of Illegal Migration on the Youth of the World."
Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi inaugurated the WYF on Sunday in the country's South Sinai city of Sharm El-Sheikh.
The forum, held from 4 to 10 November, has attracted thousands of participants from around the world, with official delegations from 52 countries as well as youth representatives from 113.
While human migration is a natural phenomenon that can have enriching effects upon cultural diversity, the minister noted, revenues from crimes related to human trafficking are often used to finance terrorism.
For this reason, Shoukry said, Egypt is intent on protecting its youth from becoming involved with cross-border smuggling and human trafficking gangs by creating job opportunities and utilizing legal and institutional frameworks.
The foreign minister also referred to the effective efforts by Egyptian border security forces in eliminating irregular migration off the country's coasts since September 2016.
Shoukry spoke on the importance of cooperation at the national, regional, and international levels in facing migration challenges, referring to Egypt's key role in its partnership with the European and African unions.
He added that Egypt is welcoming to all foreign guests and will not build refugee camps, instead preferring to integrate migrants and refugees into Egyptian society, despite the economic and security challenges and inadequate support from the international community.
Still, the foreign minister stressed the bilateral cooperation between Egypt and Europe on the issue of migration, adding that a new round of Egyptian-European talks on the matter is set to be held by the end of November.
In recent years, thousands of refugees and migrants have attempted to cross the Mediterranean, with hundreds arrested in Egypt for attempting to migrate illegally.
Cairo has been working closely with European nations in recent years to tackle the crisis.
In 2016, Egypt passed a law mandating stiff penalties for human trafficking after a migrant boat sank off the Mediterranean coast in September, killing around 200 people.