Egypt's Sisi says dealing with illegal migration should go beyond security approach

Ahram Online , Tuesday 25 Jun 2019

El-Sisi, Avramopoulos
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi holds talks with EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos (Photo Courtesy of Egyptian Presidency)

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said that Cairo told EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos that Egypt is keen on dealing with illegal migration with a comprehensive approach which relies on more than just the short term security solutions.

In an official statement, Egyptian presidency spokesman Bassam Rady said that El-Sisi stressed to Avramopoulos the importance of cooperation on combating human trafficking and supporting countries of the global south in efforts to achieve sustainable development.

El-Sisi said that the illegal migration phenomenon is a complicated and trans-border which calls for bolstering cooperation on both regional and international matters to deal with its challenges.

The president highlighted Egypt’s efforts to help immigrants, including hosting millions of refugees of various nationalities and dealing with them with no discrimination and integrating them in Egyptian society.

Egypt has previously said it hosts more than 5 million refugees from 58 different countries, while the UN Refugee Agency sets the number of registered refugees and asylum seekers at 247,799. 

El-Sisi said that Egypt has succeeded in halting the influx illegal migration from its shores to Europe, imposing stricter border control and setting legislations to combat illegal migration.

The EU commissioner expressed his appreciation for the successful and effective efforts by Egypt to combat illegal migration, describing Egypt as a model for stability and growth in the region.

He said he is looking forward to a second round of talks between both sides over migration in July.

Since a 2016 boat disaster killed dozens of migrants, including Egyptians, Egypt has been strengthening efforts to combat irregular migration to Europe through a new law that imposes harsher penalties on traffickers. 

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