The EU and Egypt discussed a broad range of issues and agreed on new partnership priorities for 2017-2020 during the EU-Egypt Association Council in Brussels today.
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"Today's meeting demonstrated again that Egypt is a key partner for the EU and its sustainable stability and development are crucial for all Egyptians, but also for the entire region and for the European Union and its member states " said the High Representative Federica Mogherini.
"This stronger engagement should also allow us to discuss issues on which we may differ, (but) in a spirit of partnership and frankness," the HRVP added.
The Partnership Priorities set the basis for a reinforced partnership and enhanced cooperation in all fields including Egypt's sustainable economic and social development, good governance, the rule of law, human rights, migration, security and counterterrorism.
High Representative Mogherini presented her condolences to Egypt on behalf of the European Union after this morning's terrorist attack in North Sinai.
The HRVP said that the EU acknowledges the challenges posed by the terrorist threat to Egypt's stability and security and the impact of terrorism on the Egyptian population.
"We confirmed the EU and Egypt's common interest to strengthen cooperation in counterterrorism," the HRVP said.
"However, sustainable security and stability can only be achieved when human rights are fully available, implemented and upheld as guaranteed by the 2014 Constitution and according to Egypt's international commitments," Mogherini added.
The HRVP raised the EU's concerns about the consequences of the new NGO law on NGO's activities and the space for debate and dialogue, especially with civil society, in the country.
Earlier in the day the HRVP met with Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty.
High Representative Mogherini and Foreign Minister Shoukry also discussed at length regional issues including the situation in Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, efforts to reach a political settlement in Libya and the de-escalation of the conflict in Syria. Mogherini briefed Shoukry about her meeting with the Emir of Kuwait on the crisis between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain.
The EU and Egypt held their first Association Council since April 2010, before the January 2011 Revolution.