Egypt's Sisi discusses illegal immigration with EU commissioner for home and migration affairs

Ahram Online , Saturday 16 Dec 2017

Sisi and EU commissioner
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and EU commissioner for citizenship and migration affairs Dimitris Ayramopoulos in Cairo (Photo: EU in Egypt)

Egypt President Abdel-Fattah discussed in a Cairo meeting with EU Commissioner for Home and Migration Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos Egyptian efforts to curb illegal immigration, the presidency said on Saturday.

El-Sisi expressed Egypt's desire to reinforce its relations with the EU in different fields, including in efforts to combat illegal immigration.

The Egyptian president also stressed the importance of having a comprehensive solution to the problem that goes beyond the security angle.

"Resolving regional crises and raising the standing of living are key to solving the problem; EU has a large role to play in this regard," presidenty spokesman Bassam Rady quoted Sisi as saying. 

The president also said that Egypt has been successful in combating the problem, adding that there has not been a single case of illegal immigration recorded in Egypt since 2016.

El-Sisi also pointed to the fact that Egypt hosts millions of refugees in the country without housing them in refugee camps. The president said that refugees live freely in the community and enjoy the same benefits as Egyptians citizens.

Avramopoulus praised Egypt's efforts in combating illegal immigration, adding that his visit to Cairo aims to boost cooperation between Egypt and the EU on migration.    

Earlier on Saturday, Avramopoulos met with Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry, where they also discussed cooperation on migration.

The meeting between El-Sisi and Avramopoulos was attended by Shoukry, immigration minister Nabila Makram as well as the EU ambassador in Cairo.

In 2016, El-Sisi said that Egypt hosts five million refugees and immigrants despite facing its own economic challenges.

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