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Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Austria praises Egypt efforts in combating illegal migration, Egypt wants more cooperation

Illegal migration headlines day one of Sisi’s Vienna visit: Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz praised on Monday Egypt’s successes in combating illegal migration — which he mentioned included zero boats having reached Europe from Egyptian shores since September 2016, according to an Ittihadiya statement. The chancellor’s comments followed discussions with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi during his four-day Vienna visit to attend the High-Level Africa-Europe Forum. Kurz also praised Egypt’s willingness to host mns of refugees, who he said were provided decent living conditions. El Sisi said deepening cooperation with the European Union is key to keeping illegal migration under control. The president did not publicly elaborate.

The issue has made the front page of the Financial Times: The EU has been pushing for a cooperation pact with north African countries, including Egypt, to curb illegal migration. Supporters of the pact are hoping El Sisi will make clear during his trip what Egypt can offer and what it wants in return, the Financial Times notes in a piece that got prominent play yesterday on the newspapers homepage. Egypt has yet to decide whether it’s willing to take in migrants rescued during patrols amid concerns they would threaten national security or be impossible to send home due to lack of documentation, EU diplomats told the FT.

Other points of discussion: El Sisi and Kurz also signed several agreements and MoUs for cooperation in various sectors, including technology and innovation, entrepreneurship and education, Ittihadiya said. The war on terror, prospects for stabilizing Syria and Egypt’s economic reforms also came up during the meeting.

Egypt, EIB to sign final contract for EUR 350 mn metro loan during El Sisi’s visit: Egypt will sign with the European Investment Bank final contracts for a EUR 350 mn loan to finance infrastructure upgrades on Cairo Metro Line 1 during El Sisi’s visit to Vienna, sources told Enterprise.

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