Egypt, Germany sign MOU on dealing with irregular migration

Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry and his German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel oversaw the signing of a memorandum of understanding in Berlin on confronting irregular migration to Europe, the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement.

Shoukry said at a joint press conference that Egypt appreciates Germany’s support on economic and security issues. He stressed that cooperation between Cairo and Berlin to deal with the problem of irregular migration is beneficial to both countries.

“The problem of illegal immigration is an international one, and we must deal with the socio-economic roots of the crisis; the problem must be dealt with while respecting the rights of refugees and migrants in accordance with international law,” Shoukry said.

Gabriel said at the press conference that Germany understands that the River Nile is vital to Egypt’s agriculture and economy. The German foreign minister said Berlin is ready to play a constructive role in resolving any disagreements between Nile Basin countries, saying any project on the Upper Nile must be subject to consensus among all parties affected.

The two officials also discussed Egyptian-German bilateral relations and the latest developments in the Middle East, including the situation in Libya and Syria.

Shoukry and Gabriel also discussed Egyptian efforts to revive the peace process between the Palestinians and Israelis.

The two ministers discussed the rift between Qatar and Egypt and number of other Arab Gulf countries, as well as the nomination of Egyptian ambassador Moshira Khateb for UNESCO secretary-general, the statement said.

Berlin is the first stop in a European tour by Shoukry where he will also visit Belarus and Romania with the aim of reinforcing relations with the three countries and discuss issues of mutual concern.

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