President Al-Sisi, thank you for welcoming me to Cairo today, for our first meeting. It is a pleasure to visit Egypt as President of the European Council.
Today President Al-Sisi and I had the opportunity to discuss important issues of common concern, and ways to tackle them together. First and foremost, we discussed the current migration and refugee crisis affecting Europe, Egypt and the whole region. I outlined what the EU is doing and plans to do to address this challenge. I was interested to hear the President’s thoughts on how the current crisis, and its root causes, could be managed. I feel it is important to hear the views of our partners as we face this challenge together. I will share the important input of our discussions today with European leaders at next week’s extraordinary European Council. I look forward to our continued cooperation in this area, and I very much welcome Egypt’s contribution to the Valletta Summit in November.
We also discussed the scourge of terrorism, which affects both Egypt and the European Union. I can only reiterate my condemnation of all acts of terrorism, wherever they occur. The European Union is committed to fighting terrorism with our partners. We will continue to do so, based on the rule of law.
I welcome the preparations for Egypt’s parliamentary elections in the coming months. During our meeting, I highlighted the importance of implementing the new Constitution, approved by Egyptians last year, which goes a long way in protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms. I also highlighted the importance of checks and balances within the state.
As mentioned during our meeting, the European Union is committed to standing by Egypt. We will continue to support social and economic reforms, to the benefit of the Egyptian people.
This was our first meeting and we had much to discuss. I look forward to our continued cooperation and dialogue, both on the EU’s support to Egypt, and on working together to address common challenges.
Thank you again, Mr President.