Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry’s visit to Spain, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic achieved its goals, announced the Foreign Ministry Sunday. The ministry added that Shoukry’s meetings succeeded in gaining support for Egypt’s political, economic and security movements and positions.
The European round, which comes in light of Egypt’s policy of strengthening relations with various countries, discussed economic relations, as well as important regional issues, including terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It ended in establishing dual economic committees between Egypt and European countries, and the signing of several agreements.
Shoukry was in Spain to put forward new principles for the neighbouring countries’ policies, based on equality and respect for the sovereignty of states.
The ministerial meetings in Barcelona on 13 April between EU and Southern Mediterranean countries discussed the EU meeting Arab countries’ needs. This was based on mutual respect and participation, away from interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries, and respect for their sovereignty.
During his speech, Shoukry stressed the willingness for more interaction with the European side to review the Neighbourhood Policy to maximise the interests of the Arab countries. He also stressed addressing regional issues “seriously”, including reaching a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue and end the Israeli occupation, and the eradication of terrorism. This comes in addition to providing the necessary EU funding to achieve economic and social development, away from imposing conditions.
Shoukry held official talks in Poland on April 15 with Polish Foreign MinisterGrzegorz Schetyna. The two ministers discussed the ongoing preparations for the 2017 celebration of the 19th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. This is to be an opportunity for the development of bilateral relations in political, economic, commercial and tourist areas.
The two ministers also talked about joint cooperation in the field of dialogue among civilizations. They also covered the role of the two countries to push the values of tolerance and dialogue between religions, and the role of Al-Azhar in this regard.
On 16 April, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Searto met with Shoukry, where they focused on bilateral relations in various dimensions and fields, and working to develop and deepen these relations, said the Foreign Ministry statement.
Searto emphasised his country considers Egypt as “the most important country in the Middle East”, and looked forward to the further development of economic and trade relations. He pointed to an increase in trade between the two countries in the past year by 66%, and increased this year by 17 %, adding that $20m be used to support small and micro enterprises in Egypt.
The minister looked forward to Hungary holding the Joint Economic Committee soon, where Hungary is to provide 100 scholarships for Egyptians in various fields. Hungary would also provide 500 Egyptian athletes with training or participation in competitions.
“This tour has shown great appreciation on the part of officials of the three countries is important and pivotal role played by Egypt in the eradication of terrorism, as it occupies the front lines of this war, to defend not only itself, or the Arab region, but the European Union and the civilised world,” said the Egyptian Foreign Ministry statement.