Following the success of the German embassy in Egypt’s four-day convoy across four governorates in Upper Egypt using public motorways without bodyguards or the like, German citizens can be sure that Egypt is safe, German ambassador Julius Georg Luy told Daily News Egypt during a press conference in Minya.
The convoy traversed from Sohag to Minya on Tuesday, the last day of “German Week in Upper Egypt” which began Saturday in Luxor. The embassy visited Qena on the second day.
“For those who ask about security conditions in Egypt, I can confidently say that the movement of a massive diplomatic team, headed by myself, across four governorates in Upper Egypt is a clear sign of stability,” Luy said.
The triumph of the embassy’s four-day event will be reflected across German media, hopefully encouraging Germans to visit Egypt as tourists, the ambassador added.
“Restoring tourism to its previous levels requires more efforts by the Egyptian government to foster security in Egypt. We must keep in mind that it is the tourist who makes the final decision on his or her holiday destination—usually somewhere risk-free,” Luy explained.
Germany is providing “political support” to Egypt as it carries out its economic reform programme which includes the recent flotation of the Egyptian pound. Luy cited a similar decision taken by Germany following the second world war.
“These preliminary steps taken by the government will be followed by further steps to support small projects and enterprises,” Luy said.
According to the ambassador, the “German Week in Upper Egypt” was not simply a diplomatic visit but an inspection to examine the real problems and obstacles to development on the ground.
“Throughout the four-day tour, I discussed with Egyptian officials in these governorates how Germany can contribute to solving these issues. These discussions extended to the fields of education and infrastructure,” he said.
The Egyptian officials were keen to benefit from Germany’s experience in different fields. The main demands centred on the possibility of establishing German schools and cultural centres.
The governor of Sohag told Daily News Egypt on Monday that he discussed the launch of a German cultural centre with the ambassador. Upon their return from Upper Egypt, an embassy delegation will hold a meeting to discuss the demands from Egyptian officials and the possibility of executing these projects.
In response to reports that Germany aspires to a developmental role away from the command of the European Union, Luy confirmed that any developmental projects executed by the German government and other organisations are carried out with full coordination with the EU.
“As long as Germany continues to fairly contribute to the EU budget, it can also independently contribute to the development of countries. This does not mean that it is working outside the EU group,” Luy concluded.
On Saturday, the German Embassy in Cairo launched the “German Week in Upper Egypt” in Luxor with the attendance of Luy and Local Development Minister Ahmed Zaki Badr.
The launch began with the inauguration of Al-Alsun faculty at South Valley University in Luxor, which includes a German language department.
More than 10 German scientific organisations and other NGOs attended, representing German-Egyptian cooperation in various fields and across several governorates, including Qena, Sohag, and Minya.