Egyptian FM presents desired areas of cooperation with the EU

Foreign Minister Sameh Shokry delivering a speech at the Sixth Regional Forum of the Union for the Mediterranean (UFC) held in Barcelona, ​​Spain on November 29, 2021.

CAIRO – November 30, 2021: Foreign Minister Sameh Shokry participated in the Sixth Union for the Mediterranean (UFC) Regional Forum and the Third European Union-Neighborhood South Ministerial Meeting on Monday, both of which were held in Barcelona.

In his speech in the first, Minister Shokry underlined that the participants of the last forum agreed to prioritize five areas of cooperation which are climate change and environment; sustainable social and economic development; create jobs for young people, especially in the blue economy; social integration and equality; and, digital transformation and civil protection.

The Minister noted that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the UfM was able to continue related activities. One example is Egypt, which is hosting the second ministerial meeting on the environment, which resulted in the Cairo Declaration communicated to COP26 in Glasgow. The declaration affirmed the need to support developing countries in the field of green transformation by making available the necessary funds.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shokry delivering a speech at the Sixth Regional Forum of the Union for the Mediterranean (UFC) held in Barcelona, ​​Spain on November 29, 2021.

In another context, the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs reiterated the importance of prioritizing the channeling of investments to the countries of the southern Mediterranean, which create jobs and benefit from their natural and human resources.

Likewise, Shokry stressed that the objectives of the UfM will not be optimally achieved unless peace and stability are established in the region.

“In this context, the current forum coincides with the 30th anniversary of the Madrid Peace Conference. I remember how great the ambitions and hopes were in Madrid 30 years ago to end the Arab-Israeli conflict and achieve a permanent, just and comprehensive peace in the region. We must restore this spirit and call on all parties concerned to work seriously to achieve a solution to the Palestinian cause, which is still at the heart of the causes of instability in our region. That is why negotiations must resume quickly in order to achieve a final settlement rooted in the two-state solution, international benchmarks and principles of international law. Thus, the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state on the borders of June 4, 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital, would be guaranteed, ”Minister Shokry said. He added that such a path would also ensure the cessation of unilateral measures and policies, including illegitimate installation activities.

The Minister added that “achieving stability and development in the Mediterranean region requires strengthening intellectual and cultural communication between its peoples” in order to counter violence, extremism, discrimination and hatred of the Other. . On this front, Minister Shokry praised the work of the Euro-Mediterranean Anna Lindh Foundation for Dialogue between Cultures based in Alexandria.

As for his participation in the third ministerial meeting European Union – Southern Neighborhood, Minister Shokry detailed in his speech the priority areas in terms of cooperation – in the form of exchange of experiences and capacity building – between the EU and southern neighboring states.

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Foreign Minister Sameh Shokry delivering a speech at the Sixth Regional Forum of the Third European Union-Neighborhood South Ministerial Meeting held in Barcelona, ​​Spain on November 29, 2021.

The minister clarified that these areas are agriculture, irrigation, health, energy, pharmaceuticals, solid waste management, technical education and vocational training. This is in addition to new sectors such as green transformation, renewable energy, digitization, e-commerce and artificial intelligence applications.

“Since the early 2000s, Egypt has wanted to maintain a genuine partnership relationship with the European Union based on mutual respect and extended cooperation in various fields. As our country embarks on a new stage of economic development with an ambitious vision for the future, we call on the European Union to take advantage of the great opportunities available by participating in mega development projects in Egypt, it is i.e. by employing bold new tools to encourage investment flows, such as issuing investment guarantees, facilitating the entry of exports into European markets, and taking strong measures to adjust the trade balance, which is favorable to the European Union ”, underlined Minister Shokry.

The Minister also underlined the need to fight against discrimination, hatred of the Other, extremism, terrorism and illegal migration because these are challenges common to both shores of the Mediterranean. He stressed that these phenomena have “known economic, social and intellectual roots”, which requires comprehensive and judicious approaches to deal with them in the north and south of the Mediterranean.

The Egyptian Foreign Minister asserted that the desired partnership between Mediterranean countries requires regional stability, which would be achieved by resolving political crises that have spanned decades, such as the Palestinian cause, and others that have arisen in the country. over the past decade and which have given rise to extremism, terrorism, and illegal migration.