Egypt President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi met on Wednesday with the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) President, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, in Cairo, according to a presidency statement.
During the meeting, Al-Sisi renewed Egypt’s stance regarding adopting an international joint vision to tackle the essential reasons behind the issue of refugees and migration, the statement clarified.
This vision includes economic, political, cultural, humanitarian, and development measures, the statement added. Additionally, it does not only focus on security solutions.
The meeting also tackled regional and international efforts of common interests including counterterrorism.
For her part, Espinosa praised Egypt’s critical role in the Middle East region, as it represents a vital pillar for maintaining security and stability in the region, the statement highlighted.
Espinosa further applauded Egypt’s executive efforts in enhancing women’s rule in economic, political and social fields.
She also hailed Egypt’s keenness on reaching political settlements to end conflicts in the region. Meanwhile, Espinosa commended Egypt’s active participation in the UN’s various activities, and its readiness to defend the causes of African countries, especially as Egypt heads the African Union, the statement concluded.
Early in February, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) revealed that the number of registered refugees and asylum seekers in Egypt has increased by 24% over the past two years. This increase came due to “the ongoing conflicts in Yemen and in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
According to a recent report of the UNHCR, there are 247,142 refugees and asylum seekers in Egypt. Most of them are from Syria, Sudan, Eritrea, among others.
Cairo has rejected several times a European suggestion to establish camps to shelter refugees in Egypt or the settling of foreign nationals on its land. Al-Sisi himself said earlier that Egypt hosts around five million refugees, who are living in better conditions in the country.
The UNHCR said that Egypt supports refugees through “the provision of free education and access to health care on an equal footing with Egyptians.” However, it revealed that many refugees still face struggles in the country.