Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Commission Vice President, has been on a two day official visit to Cairo, with the aim to revitalise bilateral relations with Egypt and work with this key partner on a number of regional crises
Mogherini held long talks with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and with several ministers. During the meetings, a broad range of topics was discussed, from bilateral relations to Libya, from migration to the Middle East, from the threat to security in the region posed by terrorism to the economic and social situation, the rule of law and media freedom in Egypt.
Mogherini held extensive talks with the minister for Foreign affairs, Sameh Shoukry, and with the interior, Magdy Abdel-Ghafar. She also met the minister for international cooperation, Saher el Nasr, and for petroleum, Tareq el Molla, with whom she signed an agreement to finance connecting households with a gas pipeline through a 68 million euro EU grant to Egypt. This will facilitate gas connections for the poorest families in Egypt and it will also support the possibility for Egypt to have clean and sustainable energy.
The High Representative thanked the Egyptian authorities for hosting the most recent preparatory meeting for the Valetta Summit that is going to take place in ten days to tackle irregular migration flows, as well as better coordination and cooperation between the EU and Africa on other aspects of the migration phenomenon, including legal migration and support to the countries that are hosting refugees.
She and her Egyptian hosts discussed international efforts to encourage all Libyan parties to unite in a national unity government:
“On Libya let me say that the European position, and I think we are together in this, is that it is in the hands of the Libyans to take responsibility and a decision for the future of their country and this is the moment for them to unite. To unite all the forces that are ready to take responsibility for a country that can start again to be rebuilt," said Mogherini.
With her interlocutors, the HRVP exchanged views on how to work together to solve the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.
“We, as the European Union, have insisted a lot in this last year, my first year in office, for a revitalisation of the Quartet initiative to bring peace in the Middle East, but also and especially to have a systematic involvement in the work of the Quartet of four key Arab players: Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Arab League. We believe that these four regional actors can play a very significant role to have a substantial peace process back in place.”
Mogherini also raised the issue of how to find a political solution to the Syria crisis.
Referring to Friday’s negotiations in Vienna on Syria, she said: “I believe the meeting we had on Friday was in itself a major achievement that can open the way for a political process and a solution to the conflict.”
During her visit, Mogherini met several members of NGOs and of civil society and delivered a speech at Cairo university: "It's our responsibility to build new partnership between Europe and the Arab world," she said. "We have so much in common. We share a long history: let's build our future together."