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Sunday, 21 October 2018

Egypt and the EU sign EUR 135 mn in SME financing, migration agreements

Egypt and the EU sign EUR 135 mn in SME financing, migration agreements: Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr signed EUR 135 mn in funding agreements with Director-General for EU Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Christian Danielsson on Thursday, a ministry statement said. The agreement will see the EU provide EUR 75 mn for SMEs venture capital funding, and EUR 60 mn aimed at curbing illegal immigration in Egypt. The latter is funded by the European Emergency Fund for Africa, including contributions from Germany and the International Organisation for Planning, said Nasr.

Funding comes amid EU summit on migration: The funding highlights Egypt’s growing importance to the EU as a partner to help curb illegal migration from Africa and ME to Europe just as a new European Council meeting got underway on Thursday to discuss the issue. Egypt’s emerging role — championed by European Council President Donald Tusk and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz — could see the country’s coast guard patrol the waters off Libya and take any rescued people back to Africa, says the AP. The policy could be expanded to other African nations.

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