23 July 2019 10:54 PM

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry receives his Slovenian Counterpart

Thursday، 14 March 2019 - 11:50 AM

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry received on Wednesday, March 13th, 2019, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia, Miro Cerar, whereby the two ministers held extensive consultations on ways to enhance relations between the two countries in various fields .

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Counselor Ahmed Hafez said that Minister Shoukry started the meeting by welcoming the Slovenian Foreign Minister on his first visit to Egypt. He affirmed the importance of bilateral relations between Egypt and Slovenia, and expressed his aspiration that the Slovenian Minister’s visit would yield an important breakthrough in the path of relations between the two countries, especially in the light of the fruitful political consultations conducted and the holding of the first session of the joint Egyptian-Slovenian commission on economic, cooperation, which was agreed on during the meeting between President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and the Prime Minister of Slovenia on the sidelines of the high-level Africa-Europe forum held in Austria last December .

Hafez explained that the two Ministers held lengthy discussions on ways to boost cooperation in various areas, particularly in the fields of maritime transport, energy, education, health and tourism, as well as increasing business and SMEs, IT and consumer protection. They also examined the mechanisms of enhancing mutual investments and the available opportunities in the Egyptian market, especially in light of the comprehensive economic reform program being implemented in Egypt and the country's distinguished location as a gateway to both the Arab and African worlds .

During the meeting, Shoukry also reviewed Egypt’s stances with regard to developments in the region, and the progress achieved in combating terrorism and illegal immigration, in addition to the outcome of the Arab-EU Summit, which heralded a new chapter of collaboration between the Arab and European regions. Furthermore, Shoukry highlighted the priorities of the Egyptian chairmanship of the African Union, particularly the promotion of peace and security, the settlement of disputes, the advancement of development on the continent, the increase of joint investments and intra-trade, while stressing that the common challenges facing African and EU countries require coordination and joint action in order to reach effective solutions and a common vision to address them .

On his part, FM Cerar reviewed his country's vision on developments in the European Union and the situation in the Balkans, while stressing the importance that his country attaches to strengthening coordination and consultation mechanisms with Egypt on all issues of common concern. In this context, he looked forward to building on the momentum the relations between the two countries have witnessed since the visit of the Slovenian President to Cairo in 2016 and the subsequent high-level reciprocal visits. The Slovenian Minister was also keen on listening to Egypt’s assessment regarding the latest developments in the Middle East, especially with regard to the Syrian and Libyan crises as well as the Palestinian cause, as he praised the Egyptian efforts aimed at reaching lasting solutions to the crises in the region. He also expressed his country's appreciation for the substantial reforms carried out in Egypt during the past years, which were achieved as part of an integrated plan that takes into account the nature of the challenges facing the Egyptian state .

It is worth noting that earlier in the day Shoukry and his Slovenian counterpart inaugurated the Egyptian-Slovenian Business Forum, as a mechanism that effectively contributes to increasing the volume of trade exchange between the two countries in a balanced and steady manner. Minister Shoukry delivered a speech at the opening of the Forum, in which he invited Slovenian companies to increase their investments in Egypt. He also urged the Egyptian business community to expand its presence in Slovenia, highlighting the main aspects of economic relations between Egypt and Slovenia, and stressing the importance of increasing the level of trade exchange so as to reflect the two countries’ strong political will to enhance relations on all fronts. Shoukry also praised the existing cooperation between the port of Koper and the port of Alexandria, and emphasized the importance of replicating such successful cooperation between the two countries in other fields .

Finally, Hafez revealed that following the holding of the joint commission for economic cooperation between Egypt and Slovenia, the two Foreign Ministers signed the protocol of the joint commission, and a consumer protection agreement. He also noted that Shoukry congratulated the Slovenian side on having assumed the presidency of the Human Rights Council, and tackled the main outcomes of the joint commission. In this regard, two sides agreed on the importance of convening the joint commission periodically as the main mechanism for enhancing cooperation and coordination between the two countries .

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