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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Strategic partnership framework talks between Egypt, EU move forward

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry appears to have made headway in setting a strategic partnership framework between Egypt and the EU for the next three years, according to a statement by the Foreign Ministry which hailed the move as a new phase in strategic ties. Both sides presented their list of priorities which will be carried into future negotiations. The previous EU-Egypt Partnership framework which expired last year had set poverty alleviation and improving the business environment as priorities for aid with Egypt. We can only speculate that the new provisions might include aid to refugees, as the EU and Egypt attempt to reach an agreement which would see Egypt host asylum seekers. Urgency for the agreement could see new light considering a decision by the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice to allow states the right to deny visas to refugees.

Meanwhile, Italy said it has no objections to Egypt’s strategic partnership agreement with the EU and harbors no animosity towards it over the death of Italian grad student Giulio Regeni last year, Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano told satellite channel DMC on Tuesday night (watch, runtime 0:54). He confirmed, however, that Italy will continue to “seek the truth” about Regeni’s death.

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