Egypt renewed Monday its rejection of the establishment of camps to shelter refugees in Egypt or the settling of foreign nationals on its lands, and the country signed an agreement with Germany regarding immigration, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abou Zaid said in a statement.
The arrangements, which were agreed upon by the two sides, focused on supporting Egypt in bearing its big humanitarian and ethical responsibility in hosting millions of refugees residing in its land through programmes to build Egyptian abilities, Abou Zaid explained.
On Sunday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry witnessed the signing of an agreement between Egypt and Germany to cooperate in facing illegal immigration, in a meeting with his German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel in Berlin. The two sides agreed to seek solutions that explore the socioeconomic aspects of the issue beyond just security solutions, while maintaining the rights of immigrants and refugees as per international laws.
According to the statement of the Foreign Ministry, Germany will also finance raising the Egyptian capabilities in securing borders to stop illegal immigration, confronting human trafficking crimes, and facing organised crime.
This is not the first time Egypt rejects the idea of refugees camps. In her visit to Egypt in March, German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested the idea in a meeting with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in exchange for massive German investments in Egypt.
In the press conference following the meeting, Al-Sisi said that Egypt will not establish refugees camps, adding that there are five million of them living in Egypt.
Three days after the meeting, Shoukry reiterated that Egypt will not establish refugees camps for immigrants, stressing that refugees living in Egypt enjoy the services provided to Egyptian citizens that was at a meeting with the EU Commissioner for Home and Migration Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos and the German and Austrian foreign ministers in Brussels.
Abou Zaid added that the cooperation memorandum between Egypt and Germany did not include any articles on this regard, stressing Egypt’s consistent rejection of establishing camps to shelter refugees and isolate them away from the Egyptian community. This ties in with the Egyptian comprehensive vision of dealing with the phenomenon of illegal immigration.
Fields of cooperation in the memorandum reflects Egypt’s policy, which aims to confront illegal immigration from all sides of the issue not only the security side, focusing on developing and supporting youth, according to the statement.
According to the memorandum, Germany will also grant Egypt 28 million euros for education and technical training, in addition to increasing the German scholarships for the Egyptian students, the potential recognition of the Egyptian certificates in technical work fields, and facilitating the procedures of Egyptians entering Germany.
Egypt will also provide guarantees to the German private sector to work in the Egyptian market in the small and medium business, the statement read.