9 January 2018

Egypt, Ireland Agree to Hold Periodical Consultations

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri said he has agreed with his Irish counterpart on holding political consultations periodically at the ministerial level to enhance relations in various fields.

During a joint press conference with Irish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney, currently visiting Egypt, Shoukri said their talks covered regional and international issues, including the Palestinian cause and Egyptian-European Union relations and joint action to combat terror.

Shoukri thanked his Irish counterpart who was keen on visiting Egypt at the start of his tour of the Middle East, adding that the visit is an excellent opportunity to expand talks on bilateral relations and exchanging views particularly that Ireland supports Arab issues.

He added that he expounded Egypt's efforts in the field of economic reform.

He voiced hope that the number of Irish companies in Egypt would increase especially in the fields of education and research.

Shoukri said about the tourism movement from Ireland to Egypt and trade exchange his talks with his Irish counterpart tackled both countries' wish to boost tourism and economic relations.

He pointed to a decrease in the volume of trade over the past few years which reached dlrs 170 million, down from around $350 million which is currently being corrected.

Both sides are concerned with establishing strong economic ties in various fields, mainly pharmaceuticals, he added.

The Irish official said 50,000 Irish tourists visited Egypt and the number can be doubled.

As for trade, the volume reached euros 700 million in 2015 but dropped over the past couple of years, he said, pointing out to 74 Irish companies operating in Egypt and the figure can be increased.

He added that there are many opportunities for increasing trade and tourism with Egypt.

about the possibility that the European Union (EU) can replace the US as a broker in the coming talks between the Palestinians and Israelis, the Irish foreign minister said that there would not be a solution to the Palestinian cause without the US.

He further underlined that there is a commitment on the EU which is the greater financial sponsor of the Palestinian people.

Concerning the migration file, the minister asserted that Europe has been involved in intensified talks in this regard, adding that the terrorist attacks made the European bodies concerned change their policies on migration.

He further underlined the importance of coordination between the EU and the African Union to reduce the number of migrants to Europe.

Egypt will have a pivotal role in these negotiations for its strategic Arab and African position, he concluded.



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