Egypt called on the European Union to review its stance towards “measures of countering terrorism and extremism,” to the extent of “ignoring some positions of countries which support terrorism,”
Egyptian foreign ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abou Zaid said on Tuesday.
Abou Zaid added that during the 6th session of the Association Council (AC) of the European Union and Egypt, in Brussels, Egypt strongly criticised the European insistence to approve the cooperation programme of managing water resources in the Nile Basin in cooperation with the Nile Basin Initiative despite Egypt’s rejection and freezing its participation in the initiative.
Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry presided over Egypt’s delegation in the session, co-chaired with Federica Mogherini, the high representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, in the presence of Johannes Hahn, the commissioner of the European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations.
The session confirmed the broader engagement of the EU-Egypt relations based on the resumption of the bilateral Association Agreement structure in 2015 and on the joint priorities identified in light of the revised European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) as well as the “Sustainable Development Strategy: Egypt Vision 2030”, which will guide the dialogue and cooperation for the next three years.
The Association Council welcomed the adoption of the jointly negotiated EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities that pave the way for a reinforced and mutually beneficial bilateral partnership and towards a stronger strategic engagement in areas of common interest, according to the EU statement.
Also, the council also acknowledged Egypt’s contribution in hosting refugees and migrants and working to prevent and combat irregular migration, trafficking, and smuggling of human beings, including identifying and assisting victims of trafficking.
Both Egypt and the EU expressed their commitment to enhancing democracy, fundamental freedoms, and human rights as constitutional rights of all their citizens in line with their international obligations, and both sides agreed that human rights are common values that constitute the cornerstone of a democratic, stable, and prosperous state. Both sides remained committed to combat terrorism, which threatens the social fabric of nations across both sides of the Mediterranean, the statement read.
The council welcomed the solid and accumulated EU assistance to Egypt, which amounts to over €1.3bn, in the form of ongoing grants to support Egypt’s economic, social, and political development to improve the future prospect of its people.