Egypt's stability and development is crucial for region and EU: Surkoš to Egyptian parliament speaker Abdel-Aal

Ahram Online , Tuesday 30 Jan 2018

Egypt's parliament speaker Ali Abdelaal speaks during the opening session at the main headquarters of parliament in Cairo, Egypt, January 10, 2016 (Reuters)

Head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt Ivan Surkoš said that Egypt's stability and development is crucial for the entire region and the EU, while calling for a transparent vote in the country's upcoming presidential elections.

Surkoš made the comments after he and a number ambassadors of EU member states met on Tuesday with speaker of the Egyptian parliament Ali Abdel-Aal.

The meeting discussed issues of mutual interest as well as ways to boost Egypt-EU cooperation in the parliamentary field, the European Union website said.

Surkoš also discussed the country's upcoming presidential vote, slated for 26-28 March, saying "credible, transparent elections are crucial" for consolidating democracy.

The ambassador said that the "EU acknowledges the serious challenges posed by the terrorist threats to Egypt's stability and security," while stressing that only "when human rights are fully available, implemented and upheld as guaranteed by the 2014 constitution and according to Egypt's international commitments" will sustainable security and stability be achieved.

He added that the EU supports the Egyptian government in its ambitious reform programme to shore up the economy, which includes lifting subsidies, raising taxes and loosening capital controls.

"We acknowledge that the country is undertaking important economic reforms and are committed to support Egypt in this regard," said Surkoš.

EU financial assistance to Egypt amounts to over €1.3 billion in ongoing grant commitment. With EU member states and European Financial Institution grants, loans and debt swaps standing at €11 billion, the EU is currently the biggest donor to Egypt.

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