High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, met today with Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, to discuss a range of issues in the context of the partnership between the European Union and Egypt.
High Representative Borrell and Foreign Minister Shoukry exchanged extensively on regional issues. Both parties expressed concern about the situation regarding the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and discussed the importance of the Nile waters for downstream countries, including Egypt. The High Representative stressed that efforts led by the African Union to solve the dispute have the support of the EU and need to be intensified to reach a solution agreeable to all parties. He also reiterated the EU’s regret of the announcement by Ethiopia of the second filling of the GERD without reaching a prior agreement with downstream partners on this issue.
High Representative Borrell expressed appreciation for Egypt’s important role in the Middle East Peace Process, particularly in reaching a ceasefire ending recent hostilities and towards the joint objective of a two-state solution. He conveyed the message that the EU will work closely with Egypt and other international partners to restart the political process to bring lasting and sustainable solutions.
Both sides agreed on the shared interest for Egypt and the EU in a stable and united Libya and the importance of supporting the Government of National Unity and UN efforts in making progress on the different political, security and economic tracks. This includes the withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries from the country and the need to respect the roadmap for the organisation of the parliamentary and presidential elections on 24 December 2021.
High Representative Borrell and Foreign Minister Shoukry emphasised the importance of EU-Egypt relations as well as their further development in the context of the New Agenda for the Mediterranean and its Economic and Investment Plan for the Southern Neighbourhood, to join forces in boosting our economies, supporting recovery and fighting climate change. The High Representative highlighted the EU’s commitment to implement the EU-Egypt Association Agreement and joint priorities with a view to reaching the full potential of the partnership.
The High Representative reiterated the position of the EU on fundamental values and expressed concern about the application of the death penalty in Egypt.
The discussion further centred on cooperation between the EU and Egypt on migration-related issues, including the shared objectives of preventing irregular migration and ensuring the protection of asylum seekers and refugees as well as the promotion of legal channels of migration and mobility.