News

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry holds discussions with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Tuesday 30 January 2018
12:00 PM

O​fficial MFA Spokesperson Counselor Ahmed Abu Zeid stated that Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry kicked off his visit to the Belgian capital Brussels by holding a meeting on the afternoon of Tuesday January 30, 2018 with Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The meeting was held on the sidelines of FM Shoukry’s participation in the extraordinary ministerial meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) concerned with coordinating international aid provided to the Palestinian Authority.​

The MFA Spokesperson explained that regional issues at the head of which is the Palestinian issue took up most of the Foreign Minister’s discussions with the European official. This is a reflection of the necessity of maintaining consultation channels between Egypt and EU regarding regional issues as asserted by the Association Priorities 2017-2020. This extraordinary meeting comes in the framework of a European initiative in reaction to the latest developments pertaining to the issue of Jerusalem. It aims to discuss how to maintain the consistency and unity of the international position toward the Palestinian issue, and to readjust the path towards negotiations and the two state solution.

Abu Zeid mentioned that, during the meeting, Mogherini was keen on listening to the Egyptian point of view regarding the Palestinian issue in light of Egypt’s engagement in the issue of Palestinian national reconciliation and the leading Egyptian role in this regard. In this context, FM Shoukry reviewed the outcomes of the Egyptian consultations with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during his latest visit to Cairo and discussions with US Vice President Mike Pence about the Palestinian issue during his visit to Egypt. The Foreign Minister and the European official, also, broached the means to provide support to Palestinian national institutions; developing their capabilities and enabling them to manage the Gaza Strip with the objective of relieve the humanitarian suffering the Palestinian people are exposed to. Mogherini noted in this regard the European Commission’s keenness to listen tomorrow to the evaluation of the humanitarian situation in Palestine by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) whose delegation is currently in Brussels. Mogherini was, also, keen during the meeting on acquainting FM Shoukry with the outcomes of the meeting between European ministers with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas this month, in addition to their meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister last December.

From his side, FM Shoukry renewed assertions of the parameters of the Egyptian position toward the Palestinian issues. The Egyptian position is based on respecting international terms of references with the aim of establishing a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, as well as, advancing the peace process with the aim of laying the foundations of stability in the region. The Foreign Minister noted that the current situation of the Palestinian issue has become difficult, that alternatives have become limited, and that the role of European partners has become gravely important to advance the peace process in the region.

Abu Zeid added that Mogherini emphasized, during the meeting, the European position in support of the Palestinian cause and the importance of advancing the peace process between the Palestinian and Israeli sides. In this context, she praised Egyptian efforts aiming to revive the peace process as a resolution to the Palestinian issue would contribute to achieving stability, as well as, end violence and tension in the region.

The MFA Spokesperson concluded his statements noting that the meeting between Shoukry and Mogherini, also, broached Egyptian-European relations in light of the importance of the European partner to Egypt. Egyptian-European relations are characterized by depth and strength in all political, economic, and developmental aspects; especially, in supporting Egyptian endeavors to achieve comprehensive development according to the Sustainable Development Strategy: Egypt Vision 2030. FM Shoukry, further, expressed Egypt’s satisfaction with the overall developments witnessed in institutional cooperation between Egypt and the EU since holding the Association Council in July 2017 followed by the signing of the Single Support Framework (SSF) during an October 2017 visit by Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy, and Enlargement Negotiations. In December 2017, the Migration Dialogue was launched and was followed by a meeting of the subcommittee on political affairs, human rights, and democracy in January 2018. Finally, FM Shoukry emphasized the importance of reinforcing cooperation with the European side in combating terrorism, which represents a mutual challenge to the international community.​

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