Egypt's foreign minister Sameh Shoukry (R) during his meeting with Maltese counterpart Evarist Bartolo in Cairo, 6 September 2020. (Photo courtesy of the Egyptian Ministry of foreign affairs official Facebook page)
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Maltese counterpart Evarist Bartolo discussed a number of bilateral and regional issues at a meeting held in Cairo on Sunday.
The ministers affirmed the importance of expanding the fields of cooperation between the two countries, particularly in business and investment, a statement by the Egyptian foreign ministry said.
They also agreed on the significance of resuming flights between the two countries and on enhancing cooperation in the field of tourism, especially with the "strict" preventative measures Egypt has adopted at touristic destinations.
Air Malta resumed direct flights to Cairo in September last year after a 12-year hiatus, but halted them again this year in the wake of the pandemic.
Ahmed Hafez, the ministry spokesperson, said the meeting covered the issue of illegal immigration; the pair stressed the necessity of addressing the radical reasons behind illegal migration from a comprehensive perspective, and that of reaching solutions at the regional and international level.
They reiterated the importance of the principle of burden-sharing between southern and northern Mediterranean states as well as European Union members.
Bartolo heaped praise on Egypt's efforts regarding the issue, which has led to a halt in illegal immigration from its coasts since September 2016.
He also expressed his appreciation to Cairo for hosting refugees, which he described as "a huge challenge" Egypt shoulders.
Discussing Libya, Shoukry urged the stabilisation of the ceasefire situation in the conflict-torn country and stoppage of the flow of weapons, terrorists and foreign fighters into Libya, with the aim of reaching the desired political solution.
Egypt announced an initiative, dubbed the Cairo Declaration, earlier this summer which mandates a Libyan-Libyan resolution as a basis for resolving the country’s conflict, drawing on earlier international efforts, including the Berlin conference.
On peace in the region, Shoukry reiterated Egypt's supportive stance for any efforts to enhance stability and peace in accordance with international legitimacy and the principle of the two-state solution.