26 May 2024 07:10 PM

The 10th Meeting of the EU-Egypt Association Council

Monday، 22 January 2024 - 12:00 AM

Egypt's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry lead Egypt's delegation at the 10th meeting of the EU-Egypt Association Council, held in Brussels on 23 January 2024.

The meeting, co-chaired by Shoukry, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Vice President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, features the participation of several EU foreign ministers.

The meeting is of particular significance, as it marks the 20th anniversary since the Egypt-EU Association Agreement entered into force, which represents the general framework that regulates Egyptian-European relations and the reference for bilateral cooperation in various fields, including politics, economy, trade, and culture.

The Egypt-EU Association Council represents the most comprehensive framework to follow up on the implementation of the Egyptian-European partnership and benefit from the framework of the EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities 2021-2027.

Agenda

The Foreign Minister's intensive program includes holding a working breakfast with his European counterparts to discuss ways of enhancing bilateral relations and to follow up on the implementation of joint projects and programmes between Egypt and the EU.

Additionally, Shoukry will hold a series of bilateral meetings with the president of the European Parliament, the secretary-general of NATO, and senior European commissioners concerned with neighbourhood policies, economy, energy, migration, climate, humanitarian affairs, and crisis management.

The Egyptian foreign minister will also participate with the foreign ministers of Jordan and Saudi Arabia, the secretary-general of the Arab League, along with the EU foreign ministers, and Borrell to discuss the latest developments in the Gaza Strip and the future of the Palestinian cause, in addition to de-escalation efforts in the Middle East.

The Joint Press Statement by the 10th EU-Egypt Association Council Meeting

The 10th meeting of the Association Council between the European Union and Egypt took place in Brussels on 23 January 2024. The event marks the 20th anniversary since the Association Agreement entered into force in 2004 and confirmed the robust and multifaceted partnership between the two parties.

The meeting was co-chaired by Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt.

The Association Council took stock of the progress made on the joint Partnership Priorities adopted in June 2022 with a view to promoting joint interests. The EU and Egypt intend to pursue a cooperation that promotes multilateralism and the rules-based international order. They will continue working together to foster stability, peace and security in the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Africa. In view of the importance, they attach to their relationship, the EU and Egypt intend to elevate it to the level of a Comprehensive and Strategic Partnership.

The EU and Egypt exchanged views over a number of regional crises and global challenges.

The EU and Egypt shared their concern for the disastrous humanitarian situation in Gaza. They urged maximum restraint and the protection of civilians in accordance with the universal principles of International Humanitarian Law. Both sides reiterate the need to ensure the immediate, sustainable and unconditional delivery of humanitarian and medical aid. The EU and Egypt are committed to continue to work closely together to alleviate the human suffering of the people in Gaza, and affirmed their strong rejection of any form of individual or collective displacement, forced or otherwise, of Palestinians from any part of the occupied territory, including the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Egypt called for an immediate ceasefire; the EU stressed the urgency of humanitarian pauses. The parties shared concerns on the situation in the West Bank, where settler violence and settlement expansion have reached record levels, and many Palestinian communities have been forcibly evicted, as illegal measures under international law. The EU and Egypt reiterated that the only path to a just, lasting and comprehensive resolution of the conflict in the Middle East is the two-state solution that ends occupation and leads to the establishment of an independent, contiguous, sovereign and viable Palestinian State, on the lines of 4 June 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with the State of Israel in peace, in accordance with international law and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

The EU and Egypt underlined that peace, security and a multilateral, rules-based order lie at the heart of their longstanding partnership. Recalling United Nations General Assembly resolutions ES-11/1 and ES-11/2 on Ukraine, which they both voted in favour of, they reiterated their shared principles in line with the UN Charter of respect for international law, territorial integrity, national sovereignty, the need to refrain from the use of force, respect international humanitarian law and solve conflicts by peaceful means. They condemned all violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights in conflict areas and called for the strict respect of international humanitarian law.

Recognizing Egypt’s heavy reliance on the Nile River in a context of its water scarcity, the EU reiterates its support to Egypt’s water security and the compliance with international law, while recalling that the ‘do no harm’ principle serves as a guiding principle in the European Green Deal.

The EU and Egypt recognise the importance of preserving navigational rights and freedoms in the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea, in accordance with international law as reflected in 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The EU and Egypt remain committed to promoting democracy, fundamental freedoms and human rights, gender equality and equal opportunities as constitutional rights of all their citizens. In this regard, both sides agreed to continuing their dialogue and enhancing cooperation on human rights in a comprehensive approach. The EU and Egypt agreed that civil society and the private sector are important and potent contributors to the implementation of their partnership priorities and key actors in support of the sustainable development process underway in Egypt.

Egypt appreciates the EU support to the COP27 Presidency. Building on the successes of COP27 hosted by Egypt in 2022 and COP28 held in the UAE in 2023, the EU and Egypt reaffirmed their commitment to work together on climate change mitigation, carbon market loss and damage, just transition and adaptation, including sustainable management of natural resources, the development of sustainable agriculture, the support to sustainable industry, and expansion of public transport networks. The diversification of energy sources and the green energy transition, including the expansion of renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable finance, will be a central element in these efforts. Both sides also indicated their intention to continue working on other crucial areas such as biodiversity conservation, combating desertification and land degradation, and disaster risk management.

Guided by the shared vision for a more sustainable management of water resources and tackling the challenges posed by water management in the context of a growing population, competing water demands, and a changing climate, Egypt and the EU agree on areas of cooperation on bilateral, regional, and international levels in the water domain in line with the Joint Declaration on an Egypt-EU Water partnership.

The EU and Egypt will continue enhancing their cooperation and dialogue on all climate-related issues, including in particular their respective climate policies and measures, and the multilateral environmental and regional negotiations on climate change with a view to further strengthening their longstanding partnership.

The EU and Egypt are important trading partners and will work together to further enhance bilateral trade relations and foster investments. They will continue strengthening their constructive trade dialogue to further foster the business and investment environment to attract more foreign direct investment.

The EU and Egypt will work together to enhance the competitiveness of the economy and support the development of the private sector, namely Micro-, Small-, and Medium-sized Enterprises in Egypt. In this regard, Egypt and the EU highlighted the importance of the International Investment Conference to be held in Egypt, in May 2024. Its aim will be to further deepen Egypt-EU business exchanges in order to enhance the overall business environment and to encourage European public and private investments to benefit from the available investment potentials in Egypt. This includes the privileges provided by the Suez Canal as the most important Commercial and Maritime corridor connecting the East and the West of the globe which would, eventually, strengthen Egypt’s role in EU supply chains.

The EU and Egypt confirmed the importance of cooperation in research and innovation in sectors such as energy, water, agro-food and health as well as in advancing digital technologies. Today’s signature of the Framework Protocol Agreement will pave the way for Egypt’s participation in EU programmes, thereby further promoting people-to-people exchanges.

Combating terrorism and preventing violent extremism conducive to terrorism represent a common goal. The EU and Egypt welcomed their co-chairmanship of Global Counter Terrorism Forum (GCTF) and reiterated their joint commitment to addressing the root causes of terrorism with full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Both sides called for increased cooperation to tackle the numerous and multi-faceted manifestations of organised crime.

The EU and Egypt agreed on the importance of adopting a comprehensive approach to migration governance, creating regular migration pathways, tackling the root causes of irregular migration, combating migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons, ensuring dignified and sustainable return of irregular migrants and reintegration. The EU and Egypt are committed to the protection of the rights of migrants and refugees. The EU and Egypt will continue to cooperate in order to support Egypt’s efforts in hosting refugees.

Meetings of the Minister of Foreign Affairs at the 10th Meeting of the EU-Egypt Association Council

January 21,2024

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Co-operation of Spain José Manuel Albares

The ministers discussed in detail the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, the importance of an immediate ceasefire, and efforts to fully implement UN Security Council Resolution 2720 regarding the facilitation, coordination, and monitoring of the humanitarian aid delivery process to the sector, ensuring its complete and sustainable access.

Shoukry commended Spain’s historical support for the Palestinian cause within the corridors of the European Union.

The meeting also addressed ways to strengthen cooperation between Egypt and Spain bilaterally and within the framework of the partnership between Egypt and the European Union. The ministers emphasized the mutual desire to advance various paths of cooperation and build on the friendship between the two countries, including shared positions on confronting regional and international challenges.

Shoukry affirmed the responsibility of the European Union and influential world countries to intervene to put an end to Israeli violations against Palestinian civilians in Gaza and the West Bank, reiterating that immediate ceasefire in Gaza Strip can only be achieved through international pressure on Israel.

The Spanish minister, for his part, praised Egypt’s diligent efforts to find a solution to the crisis in Gaza, deliver humanitarian aid, and prevent the expansion of the conflict, highlighting Egypt’s regional role as a key partner for peace and stability in the Middle East.

Concluding the meeting, the ministers agreed to continue consultation and coordination in the coming period to coordinate actions to stop the war in the Gaza Strip and mitigate its humanitarian consequences on the Palestinian people, as well as to revive the peace process on solid foundations that ensure the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

January 22, 2024

Foreign Minister Shoukry meets with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, Mariya Gabriel, on the sidelines of the meetings of the Egypt-EU Association Council

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry held a bilateral meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, Mariya Gabriel, on the sidelines of their participation in the tenth session of the Association Council meetings between Egypt and the European Union, being hosted by Brussels.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Director of the Public Diplomacy Department, Ambassador Ahmed Abu Zeid, stated that Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry hailed the level of mutual visits and the momentum witnessed at the level of bilateral relations over the recent years, and the keenness to maintain it through convening the first session of the Joint Cooperation Commission between the two countries, headed by the two Foreign Ministers during the visit of the Bulgarian Foreign Minister scheduled to Egypt in February.

Shoukry also congratulated Gabriel on the formation of the new Bulgarian government and on taking office, in addition to expressing the sincere condolences and solidarity of the Egyptian people with the victims of the floods and heavy rains that swept the Bulgarian Black Sea coastal cities last September.

The Spokesperson added that the two ministers welcomed the continued exchange of support within international forums and the support of the two countries’ nominations for international positions and organizations. They also discussed enhancing economic cooperation opportunities and increasing trade exchange between the two countries, especially in the sectors of industry, energy and agriculture, as well as seeking to attract investments and benefit from joint manufacturing opportunities between the two countries in various fields.

In this regard, Minister Shoukry also affirmed the necessity of cooperation to achieve the common vision for Egypt to become a hub for the launch of Bulgarian companies and trade to MENA countries, and for Bulgaria to become a hub for directing Egyptian exports towards the European Union, and a logistical and storage base in southeast Europe and the Balkans region. He also indicated the keenness to increase tourist flows, bolster tourism cooperation between the two countries, and encourage the establishment of regular direct airlines between the two countries.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs also expressed his aspiration for Bulgaria’s continued support for the Egyptian vision to achieve stability and security in the Middle East region, stressing the necessity of preserving the Nation-state and its institutions, and fighting extremist organizations, reviewing Egyptian concerns regarding the region’s issues, while emphasizing the centrality of the Palestinian cause and rejecting Israeli practices. In this context, he highlighted the Egyptian efforts aimed at achieving stability and security in the region’s states and putting an end to the disputes, taking into account the repercussions and impact of the situations in the Middle East and developments on the African scene on the EU states.

On her part, the Bulgarian Minister expressed her deep gratitude and appreciation for the significant role played by Egypt in ensuring the entry of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip and the evacuation of Bulgarian nationals from the Strip, noting that in light of her readiness to take office as Prime Minister of Bulgaria next March, she will provide her country’s full support to Egypt within the corridors of the European Union, expressing her keenness to endeavor towards advancing Egypt-EU bilateral relations and cooperation frameworks towards broader horizons.

Moreover, Gabriel indicated her aspiration to enhance the European Union’s cooperation with Egypt in the field of innovation and scientific research, in light of her experience related to this sector, having previously held the position of the EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth. She also commended the pivotal role played by Egypt in the Gaza Strip crisis, stemming from Egypt’s weight in the MENA region, noting that Egypt is the pillar of stability in the region.

A working breakfast for Minister Shoukry with the Foreign Ministers of the EU states, in presence of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry met on Monday morning, January 22, 2024 in Brussels, with the Foreign Ministers of the European Union states, in presence of the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, at a working breakfast organized on the sidelines of the meetings of the tenth session of the Egypt-EU Association Council.

The meeting comes within the framework of ongoing consultation between Egypt and the EU institutions and states on the overall relations binding the two sides, and the joint endeavors to enhance bilateral cooperation between Egypt and the EU and its states, as the Minister of Foreign Affairs began his speech by emphasizing the deep-rooted and distinguished Egypt-EU ties, which encompass multiple political, economic, cultural and security aspects.

Minister Shoukry also hailed the momentum witnessed at the level of Egypt-EU relations, which was reflected in the pace of high-level visits and meetings from both sides, noting his aspiration for the continuation of in-depth and constructive dialogue between the two sides during the Association Council meeting scheduled to be held on Tuesday, January 23.

Minister Shoukry provided an extensive explanation of the economic situation in Egypt against the backdrop of the economic reform program, and the important economic measures taken to step up the performance of the Egyptian economy and respond to the citizens’ needs, outlining the challenges resulting from the turbulent economic and security situation regionally and globally and its impact on the performance of a number of sectors.

Shoukry also emphasized the importance of economic, trade and investment cooperation between Egypt and the European Union as an essential component for bolstering the strategic partnership between the two sides, and in line with the political momentum achieved at the present time. He expressed aspiration to investment cooperation that would enhance both sides’ competitiveness on the international arena and represent a qualitative leap in these close relations.

Minister of Foreign Affairs called on the European side to pump further European investments into Egypt to benefit from the comprehensive modernization process that the country is witnessing, which aims to transform it into a regional hub for manufacturing, trade, energy, services and supply chains. He also expressed his aspiration to an effective and large participation by European companies in the investment conference to be organized in Egypt this year.

The discussions between the Minister of Foreign Affairs and his European counterparts covered in depth the developments taking place in various economic sectors in Egypt, the state’s strategy to enhance the role of the private sector, interest in the renewable energy sector, electrical interconnection projects between Egypt and a number of countries, including Greece, and production and export projects, as well as green hydrogen production and exportation, in addition to the existing cooperation with the European Union in the field of combating illegal immigration. Minister Shoukry was keen to review the comprehensive Egyptian approach regarding it and the opportunities and areas of cooperation with the European Union in this field, in addition to Counter-Terrorism efforts that witness close cooperation between Egypt and the European Union being the Co-Chairs of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum.

The European officials were keen in their interventions to confirm the importance that the European Union and its states attach to consolidating its partnership with Egypt and advancing all paths of bilateral cooperation in various fields, and their support for the proposed upgrade of relations between Egypt and the European Union to the level of a comprehensive strategic partnership, which would greatly pave the way for developing relations between the two sides in various fields to a great extent.

European officials also asserted the regional and pivotal role played by Egypt to achieve security, peace and stability in the region, and the fact that Egypt is a strategic partner of the European Union that can be relied upon and trusted in facing regional and global challenges. The European side emphasized that the stability and security of the European continent is associated with the security and stability of Egypt and the region.

In this context, European officials commended the balanced Egyptian positions in dealing with Middle East crises and ways to solve them, stressing the importance of elevating relations with Egypt so as to be in line with the magnitude of the existing global and regional challenges.

The extensive and open dialogue that took place at the working breakfast on a number of regional issues of common interest, most notably the war in Gaza, the situation in Sudan and Libya, and the Red Sea security, as the Minister of Foreign Affairs reviewed the various elements of the Egyptian position regarding these issues.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry meets Luxembourg's Foreign Minister in Brussels

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry met on Monday morning, January 22, 2023, with Xavier Bettel, Vice Prime Minister of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Cooperation, and Humanitarian Affairs. This meeting took place on the sidelines of the European Union Foreign Affairs Council held on Monday in the Belgian capital, Brussels, just one day before holding the tenth session of the EU-Egypt Association Council.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Director of the Public Diplomacy Department, Ambassador Ahmed Abu Zeid, stated that Minister Shoukry began the meeting by congratulating Minister Bettel on assuming his position, expressing sincere wishes for his success and prosperity in his responsibilities. Shoukry also expressed his eagerness to work together to enhance the bilateral relations between Egypt and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, building on the friendship forged over the past decade, during Minister Bettel's tenure as the Prime Minister of his country.

The Spokesperson indicated that the meeting addressed ways to enhance various aspects of bilateral cooperation between Egypt and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, reflecting the interests of both countries. The meeting also put emphasis on the importance of strengthening mechanisms for consultation and maintaining the momentum of exchange visits at various levels. Minister Shoukry emphasized Egypt's commitment to enhancing economic cooperation with Luxembourg, aiming to increase the rates of trade exchange between the two countries and boost Luxembourgish companies' investments in the Egyptian market, particularly in infrastructure, energy, and banking services sectors. He also highlighted the importance of building upon the successful partnerships between the two nations in the Egyptian market.

On his part, the Foreign Minister of Luxembourg commended the friendly relations between the two countries, expressing his anticipation for collaborative efforts to continue advancing the close ties and promoting cooperation across various fields. He also emphasized the need to enhance the pace of political consultations and mutual visits at various levels between the two nations, as well as coordinating their positions on regional issues.

Ambassador Abu Zaid noted that a substantial part of the meeting focused on the developments in Gaza, where Minister Bettel was keen to be briefed on Egypt's perspective on the current situation of the crisis. Minister Shoukry outlined the Egyptian position regarding the crisis, detailing the results of Egypt's communications with various parties to achieve an immediate ceasefire. Shoukry also highlighted the catastrophic and unprecedented humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip, emphasizing the urgent and complete implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2720 regarding facilitating, coordinating, and monitoring the process of delivering humanitarian aid to the strip to alleviate the humanitarian suffering of its residents.

In this context, Minister Shoukry reiterated Egypt's complete rejection of calls raised in some official and unofficial Israeli circles regarding the displacement of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to Egypt. He also highlighted the importance of not treating the current conflict as starting on October 7th, emphasizing that it is part of a long series of Israeli violations against the rights of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories. Shoukry stressed that the resolution of this conflict can only be achieved by addressing the humanitarian crisis, halting acts of violence and oppression, and resuming meaningful peace efforts based on a two-state solution, which should allow for the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian state along the borders of June 4, 1967. He also affirmed his reliance on the continued support for the Palestinian cause by the new government of Luxembourg.

On his part, Minister Bettel reviewed the results of his recent visits to Tel Aviv, Ramallah, and Jerusalem as well as his meetings with officials from the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority, addressing the situation in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as the prospects for a two-state solution. He affirmed his country's commitment to the two-state solution as the only path to ensure lasting and just peace, expressing his country's readiness to provide all forms of support to achieve a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire. He also confirmed his country's commitment to the efforts to return to the negotiation table to reach a solution based on international legitimacy and relevant Security Council resolutions. Additionally, he praised the pivotal role played by Egypt in maintaining the stability of the region, both in the Middle East and the Mediterranean, highlighting the recognition that Egypt has gained within the European Union for its efforts since the initial days of crisis containment. He also added that this comes in addition to Egypt’s providing urgent humanitarian aid to the residents of Gaza to alleviate their suffering.

Foreign Minister holds a meeting with the European Commissioner for Crisis Management in Brussels

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Director of the Public Diplomacy Department, Ambassador Ahmed Abu Zeid, stated that Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry held a bilateral meeting on January 22, 2024, with the European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, on the sidelines of the Minister of Foreign Affairs’ participation in the tenth meeting of the Egypt-EU Association Council.

The Spokesperson indicated that the meeting between the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the European official discussed in detail the humanitarian and security aspects of the crisis in the Gaza Strip, and the joint paths of action between Egypt and the European Union to alleviate the humanitarian suffering of the Palestinian people, as well as coordinating efforts to increase the volume of humanitarian aid provided to the Strip.

Moreover, Minister Shoukry affirmed the necessity for important international parties such as the EU states to adopt firm positions regarding achieving a comprehensive ceasefire as being the sole path towards containing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, expressing his aspiration to build on the esteemed positions of the European Commissioner vis-à-vis the crisis to mitigate its humanitarian repercussions, as well as in terms of the categorical rejection of any Israeli attempts to displace Palestinians outside their country.

In this context, the European Commissioner was keen to get acquainted by Minister Shoukry with the Egyptian efforts regarding the provision and delivery of humanitarian aid, and the important role of the Egyptian Red Crescent in cooperation with international relief agencies in this regard, and receiving the wounded and injured Palestinians, as Minister Shoukry stressed in this regard the necessity for All international parties, including the European Union, to support implementing Security Council Resolution 2720 in full, and swiftly putting into effect the UN mechanism concerned with accelerating the provision of humanitarian relief consignments to Gaza.

Ambassador Abu Zeid added that the meeting also addressed the current regional tensions against the backdrop of the situation in Gaza, including in Lebanon, Iraq and Syria, and threats to the Red Sea navigation security, whereby the two sides stressed their keenness to intensify coordination between Egypt and the European Union in order to contain and curb the expansion of the circle of violence in the region.

The discussions also tackled the situation in Sudan, the Egyptian efforts within the framework of the path of Sudan’s neighboring countries to enhance de-escalation efforts and mitigate the humanitarian repercussions of the crisis, and the hoped-for role of the European Union to support the humanitarian segment of the neighboring countries’ action plan, as well as the regional humanitarian response plan for Sudan.

On his part, the European Commissioner expressed his appreciation for the important role played by Egypt in supporting regional stability, and since the beginning of the crisis in Gaza to contain its repercussions and acting with all parties to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid in full, affirming his keenness to continue coordination and consultation with the Egyptian side to further European aid to Gaza, and looking forward to visiting Egypt soon.

Foreign Minister meets with the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson

Minister Shoukry reviewed in detail the comprehensive approach adopted by Egypt in dealing with immigration issues, including facing the phenomenon from its various security and developmental dimensions, and seeks to curb its repercussions through addressing its root causes. Shoukry also highlighted the Egyptian side’s interest in strengthening bilateral cooperation with the European Union in the field of regular immigration and launching technical and vocational training and educational programs to qualify Egyptian workers for the European labor market, thus contributing to reducing the phenomenon of illegal immigration in the long term.

In this context, Minister Shoukry emphasized during the meeting the challenges and burdens that Egypt bears in light of its hosting of nine million refugees and immigrants who receive basic services alike Egyptian citizens. Accordingly, Shoukry noted the importance of increasing European support provided to Egypt in the field of immigration in a manner that is proportionate to the burdens that Egypt bears and that reflects the success achieved by the Egyptian model in combating illegal immigration, which resulted in halting all flows of illegal immigration boats off Egyptian coasts to Europe since 2016.

The two sides also discussed the repercussions of the crises in Sudan, Libya, and the occupied Palestinian territories, whereby Minister Shoukry outlined the political and security aspects of these crises, shedding light on the Egyptian efforts made by all national bodies to deal with their repercussions.

In connection with developments of the situation in the Gaza Strip, the Minister of Foreign Affairs renewed Egypt’s unwavering stance regarding the steadfast rejection of the displacement of Palestinians outside their territories, noting in this regard that any attempts to liquidate the Palestinian cause in this way were and will still be rejected by the Palestinians, internationally and by Egypt.

At the end of the meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the European official were keen to exchange views on the mechanisms for implementing the agreed-upon cooperation projects, as Johansson hailed this cooperation, and the issue of upgrading Egypt-EU relations to the level of a comprehensive strategic partnership was discussed, for which the European Union Foreign Ministers affirmed their full support, during their meeting with Minister Shoukry on Monday morning in Brussels.

Both Minister Shoukry and the European Commissioner were keen to address the section on migration in the strategic partnership in their discussions.

Minister of Foreign Affairs meets with European Commissioner for Energy

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Director of the Public Diplomacy Department, Ambassador Ahmed Abu Zeid, stated that Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry met on January 22, 2024, with the European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, during his ongoing visit to Brussels.

Abu Zeid added that Minister Shoukry indicated during the meeting the renewable energy projects carried out by Egypt in cooperation with a number of European companies, in addition to the existing cooperation in the electrical connectivity project between Egypt and Greece GREGY, and Egypt’s adoption of the objective of 42% of the country's energy mix from renewable sources by 2030, by relying on solar and wind energy.

Ambassador Abu Zeid added that Minister Shoukry indicated Egypt’s role in helping the EU diversify its sources of energy, and the cooperation witnessed by the East Mediterranean Gas Forum in this regard. He referred in this context to the investment conference to be organized in Egypt this year, which represents an opportunity for promoting cooperation between the two sides in the field of energy.

The Spokesperson concluded his remarks by noting that the European Commissioner expressed during the meeting the European side’s appreciation for the important role played by Egypt in the field of energy, setting an example of the importance of the MOU that was signed with Egypt on the sidelines of the COP27 for cooperation in the field of green hydrogen, and stressing the intention of the EU states to provide further support to Egypt in renewable energy projects.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry meets with the European Commissioner for Economy

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Director of the Public Diplomacy Department, Ambassador Ahmed Abu Zeid, stated that Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry met on the sidelines of his participation in the meetings of the European Union Foreign Affairs Council on January 22, 2024, with the European Commissioner for Economy, Paolo Gentiloni.

During the meeting, Minister Shoukry addressed means to strengthen Egypt-EU economic relations and increase direct European investments in a number of important sectors that represent a priority for both sides, especially renewable and clean energy, as well as preparations for convening the National Investment Conference this year, in which a day will be allocated for European companies. The two sides also discussed means to enhance the access of Egyptian products to European markets in order to achieve equilibrium in the trade balance between the two sides.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs also affirmed the importance of the effective contribution of industrialized countries, especially the European Union states, in bearing the economic burden of climate change effects and supporting Egypt and developing countries in implementing their national strategies to address this phenomenon, in a manner that does not represent a burden on the development process.

On his part, the European Commissioner stressed that the European Union, with all its institutions and leadership, is aware of the magnitude of the geopolitical challenges that Egypt faces as a result of the political turmoil in its regional environment and the associated economic challenges and expressed the European Union’s commitment to contribute to supporting Egypt’s economic stability, being an integral part of the security and stability of the EU states.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, along with a number of Arab Foreign Ministers, and the Arab League Secretary-General, discussed the situation in Gaza and the future of addressing the Palestinian cause with the EU Foreign Ministers and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry, the Foreign Ministers of Saudi Arabia and Jordan, and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, met on January 22, 2024, with the Foreign Ministers of the European Union and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell. An in-depth dialogue took place about the situation in the Gaza Strip and efforts to contain the exacerbating humanitarian crisis.

Shoukry affirmed in his speech during the meeting that the continued Israeli deliberate targeting of Palestinian civilians in Gaza, and the indiscriminate targeting of the infrastructure system in the Strip, is now pushing the capabilities of the entire region into dangers with uncalculated consequences and jeopardizes the foundations of international peace and security. He also warned of the repercussions of the international community’s inability to put an end to this humanitarian crisis, which victims exceed daily the death toll in any other conflict during the twenty-first century, and which resulted in the displacement of approximately 1.9 million Palestinians from their homes inside the Gaza Strip, in a flagrant violation of the provisions of international law and international humanitarian law.

Shoukry also emphasized Egypt’s categorical rejection of the principle and attempts to forcibly displace Palestinians outside their country, considering the matter a red line, and the necessity for international parties to avoid double standards and call Israeli violations by their correct names without any false justifications that legitimize the bloodshed of more innocent Palestinians.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs also called on the European Union states to adopt firm positions towards achieving a comprehensive and immediate ceasefire, and to condemn all violations of international humanitarian law, noting the potential effects of the crisis on increasing the spread of extremist and inflammatory ideology in the world, as well as the possibility of creating a gap and casting doubt on the credibility of the civilizational values ​​and cultures that societies are established upon, which requires a clear European position that is in line with the values ​​of humanity at both the political and humanitarian levels.

Shoukry affirmed that any proposals that address the ‘day after’ the crisis in Gaza without stipulating an immediate cessation of Israeli hostilities remain in the context of theoretical addressing of the crisis, stressing that a sustainable solution to the current crisis will only be achieved with the presence of decisive international support - including the European Union - for the implementation of international legitimacy resolutions based on the two-state solution, according to a specific timeframe, leading to the establishment of the independent, contiguous and viable Palestinian state on the 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Minister of Foreign Affairs meets with the President of the European Parliament in Brussels

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry met with the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Ambassador Ahmed Abu Zeid, stated that the meeting comes within the framework of the Foreign Minister’s keenness to communicate and hold dialogue with various European Union institutions, as Minister Shoukry emphasized the importance that Egypt attaches to strengthening relations between Egypt and the EU institutions, including the European Parliament, especially within the framework of the ongoing endeavors to consolidate and upgrade relations between Egypt and the European Union to the level of a comprehensive strategic partnership.

During the meeting, the two sides stressed the common desire to enhance constructive and objective dialogue on areas of joint cooperation. In this regard, Minister Shoukry stressed the importance that the essence of this dialogue be based on the foundations of friendship, mutual respect, and understanding of the magnitude of the challenges surrounding Egypt and the burdens it bears as a result of the current global and regional challenges. He also noted the importance of the role of the European Parliament in providing the necessary support to Egypt to tackle the economic challenges it faces as a result of the successive regional and international crises and the increasing challenges they pose.

Ambassador Abu Zeid added that the Minister of Foreign Affairs reviewed during the meeting the features of the comprehensive modernization process witnessed in Egypt at the political, economic, developmental, social and cultural levels, and the consolidation of the human rights system and women and youth empowerment, noting the importance of enhancing fruitful cooperation between Egypt and the European side, particularly with regard to youth empowerment as well as at the level of student exchange and benefiting from the programs provided by the European Union in this field.

On her part, the President of the European Parliament affirmed the important and strategic EU relations with Egypt and the importance of employing them to serve both sides’ interests and confront common economic and security challenges after coordination and consultation. She also highlighted the regional and pivotal role played by Egypt towards the region and its incessant efforts to achieve security and stability there, which is also in favor of the European continent’s security.

Moreover, the meeting addressed a number of current regional and international files, most notably the crisis in the Gaza Strip and the ongoing threats to the security of navigation in the Red Sea, as the President of the European Parliament was keen to listen to Minister Shoukry’s assessment of the current situation of the Gaza Strip crisis and means to halt this war.

In this context, Minister Shoukry noted the importance of the role that the European Parliament can play, as being the voice and conscience of the European citizen, in demanding a ceasefire and considering the unprecedented suffering of the Palestinian people over more than a hundred days of siege, starving and targeting. The discussions also tackled the situations in Yemen and Sudan.

At the end of the meeting, the two sides agreed on the importance of maintaining a direct and continuous dialogue between the Egyptian and European sides in a manner that contributes to enhancing mutual understanding and addressing all issues of concern through constructive dialogue.

January 23, 2024

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry met with the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Jens Stoltenberg.

The meeting comes within the framework of interest in consulting with NATO regarding developments in bilateral cooperation and developments of the current regional crises.

The meeting reaffirmed the momentum witnessed in bilateral relations between Egypt and NATO, and appreciated the level of existing cooperation, which was reflected in the increased pace of mutual high-level visits over the past year.

The two sides also discussed means to enhance mutual consultation mechanisms on issues of concern, and ongoing efforts to launch the Individually Tailored Partnership Program (ITPP), which governs relations between the two sides.

Minister Shoukry and the Secretary-General expressed their aspiration to launch the program as soon as possible, thus paving the way for enhancing cooperation in areas of common interest, especially in the areas of capacity building and expertise transfer, counter-terrorism and Counter-Improvised Explosive Devices (C-IED), in addition to cooperation in the field of mine clearance, taking into account the geographical expansion of urban areas near the minefields left by World War II, and in light of the capabilities and expertise of NATO in this field.

The Secretary-General of NATO was keen to emphasize his appreciation for the existing Egypt-NATO partnership, and his appreciation for the pivotal role played by Egypt in the region and its contribution to promoting regional security and stability.

The two sides exchanged views and assessments of a number of regional issues, mainly the ongoing crisis in Gaza and the future of the Palestinian cause, in addition to the current developments in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea region, whereby Minister Shoukry briefed the Secretary-General of NATO on the determinants of the Egyptian position on these issues and Egypt’s endeavors regarding these files, as well as in bolstering security and stability in the region. Shoukry also listened to the Secretary-General's assessment of developments in the Ukrainian crisis.

At the end of the meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs reviewed the capabilities of the Cairo International Center for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding (CCCPA), and the capacity building efforts undertaken by the Center in Africa, especially on climate change issues, as it is one of NATO’s Partnership Training and Education Centers (PTEC).

On his part, the Secretary General of NATO appreciated the efforts undertaken by the Center, expressing his interest in cooperating with Egypt in capacity building efforts in Africa.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry met with the President of the European Council, Charles Michel.

The meeting addressed the positive developments in Egyptian-European relations during the recent period and ways to deepen the existing close partnership between the two sides.

The European Council President emphasized the importance that the EU attaches to enhancing its relationship with Egypt, considering Egypt a crucial strategic partner for the Union in addressing common challenges. Michel noted that the momentum witnessed in bilateral relations across various areas of cooperation underscores the depth of this genuine partnership between Egypt and the EU.

Michel also affirmed the European Council's support for elevating the relations between Egypt and the EUto the level of comprehensive strategic partnership. He indicated that such a move would propel the bilateral cooperation between the two sides to broader horizons, aligning with the political momentum characterizing Egyptian-European relations. He also emphasized that the current regional challenges have underscored Egypt's pivotal and regional role as a cornerstone for security and stability in a region experiencing disturbances. He added that it further highlighted Egypt as a reliable and trustworthy partner in facing these challenges.

On his part, the Foreign Minister affirmed Egypt's reliance on the support of the European Council for the process of elevating relations between the two sides. Minister Shoukry also highlighted that this step would represent a qualitative leap in the institutional cooperation between the two sides in accordance with their common priorities.

Minister Shoukry reviewed Egypt's intensive efforts to resolve the current crisis in the Gaza Strip, stressing ensuring sustainable access for a substantial amount of humanitarian aid to alleviate the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the region. He pointed out, in this context, the obstacles imposed by Israel on the process of aid entry, complicating the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, where the majority of its population has become displaced. Minister Shoukry also reiterated the warning about the dangers of the continued crisis in Gaza, the widening circle of conflict, and the region being drawn into scenarios with unpredictable consequences. He noted that outlines of these scenarios have started to emerge in the tensions observed in the Red Sea region and their impact on international navigation security.

Minister Shoukry emphasized the necessity of finding a political path for the resolution of the Palestinian cause based on a two-state solution to achieve a comprehensive and sustainable solution, considering it the only way to attain security and stability in the region. The two sides also exchanged assessments on the situations in Sudan and Somalia.

The European Council President expressed his deep appreciation for the strong friendship with the President of the Republic and emphasized his commitment to continuous communication with the President, acknowledging his role and wisdom in managing affairs and dealing with various regional and international issues and crises. He also underscored the importance that the EU attaches to coordinating with Egypt, recognizing the connection between the security and stability of Egypt and the region with that of the European continent.

At the end of the meeting, the two sides agreed to continue communication and consultation on ways to enhance cooperation between Egypt and the EU, reflecting the current political momentum in the relations. Additionally, they affirmed the continuation of close coordination regarding current regional and international developments and challenges.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry met with the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the European Parliament, David McAllister

The meeting reaffirmed the importance both sides attach to enhancing communication between Egypt and the European Parliament, emphasizing the need to establish channels for direct and constructive dialogue based on the foundations of friendship and mutual respect.

McAllister stressed the support of the European Parliament and the Foreign Affairs Committee for the process of elevating relations between Egypt and the EU. He noted that this comes in light of Egypt's pivotal and regional role in enhancing the security and stability of the region, highlighting how this step would contribute to opening new avenues for cooperation in areas of mutual interest.

Furthermore, the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee highlighted the appreciation that Egypt receives within various institutions of the EU, which unanimously recognize the importance of elevating relations with Egypt, considering it a strategic partner for the EU.

The meeting also welcomed the mutual visits of the political currents in the European Parliament that contribute to clarifying the perspective towards Egypt, both domestically and within its geographical context, highlighting its vital regional role in the region.

In this regard, McAllister expressed his appreciation for the visit he made to Egypt during the past year, acknowledging the insightful discussions that took place. He noted that these discussions addressed the positive developments Egypt is currently experiencing across various sectors and also the key issues at both regional and international levels.

The meeting focused on the developments of the crisis in Gaza, where McAllister expressed his interest in understanding the Foreign Minister's assessments regarding the ways to resolve the crisis and the outcomes of his recent communications with various parties involved. He also sought insights into the outcomes of the Foreign Minister's meetings with the foreign ministers and officials of the EU during the proceedings of the EU Foreign Affairs Council held on January 22, 2024.

Minister Shoukry reviewed Egypt's stance on this crisis and highlighted the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip, emphasizing the necessity of implementing UN Security Council Resolution 2720. Minister Shoukry noted that this resolution aims to facilitate, coordinate, and monitor the humanitarian aid delivery process to ensure full and sustained access for aid to the Palestinian people.

The Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee praised Egypt's role in resolving the current catastrophic crisis in the Gaza Strip and delivering humanitarian aid to its residents. He also emphasized Egypt's significance as a cornerstone for security and stability in the region, stressing the Foreign Affairs Committee’s support for the Egyptian role and the Committee’s reliance on it to end this crisis. The meeting also involved exchanging assessments regarding the developments in international navigation security in the Red Sea in connection with the Gaza crisis, as well as the situation in Sudan.

The meeting concluded with both sides affirming the importance of continuing channels of communication to facilitate ongoing consultations and close coordination on the shared challenges facing the region.


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