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Austrian Chancellor Praises Egypt’s Efforts in Combating Illegal Migration

Austrian Chancellor Praises Egypt’s Efforts in Combating Illegal Migration

Tuesday, 18 December, 2018 - 10:15
Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi during the joint press conference (EPA)
Cairo - Asharq Al-Awsat
Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz praised Egypt's efforts in combating illegal migration as well as its economic reform program, noting that Italy has not received more immigrants, which helped establish stability in Europe.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi stressed Egypt's humanitarian and moral commitment to the safety and welfare of all refugees, including 5 million refugees living in Egypt, as well as Cairo's commitment to achieving stability in the Middle East.

"We treat our 5 million refugees the way we treat our citizens; Egypt has a policy of not housing refugees in camps. We did not use these refugees as bargaining chips; our policies on this issue are based first and foremost on moral and humanitarian considerations before security concerns," the president said during a joint press conference with Chancellor Kurz.

Sisi asserted that Egypt does not allow immigrants to move on to Europe, indicating that not a single boat carrying migrants sailed for Europe.

“We will not allow Africans or migrants [on such boats] to perish at sea,” he said, adding: “this is a principle, a moral commitment to refugees and irregular migrants.”

The Egyptian president and the Austrian Chancellor also tackled the issue of terrorism and its effect on stability.

Sisi said the instability in some Middle Eastern countries affects stability in the Mediterranean and Europe. Both agreed on working to restore stability to conflict zone countries in the area.

The Chancellor opened his remarks by praising Egypt's economic reform and its policies to curb irregular migration.

Kurz also announced the signing of ten memorandums of understanding (MoU) in a number of fields, including education, technology, and research.

"There are 600 Austrian companies operating in Egypt and it is one of the most important trade partners in Africa and the Middle East," Kurz said, expressing his appreciation for the dynamic economic reform process underway in Egypt.

“I would like to thank your excellency for Egypt's efforts in combatting illegal migration," Kurz addressed Sisi.

Austria has seen fewer migrants coming from countries like Italy, in part due to Egypt's efforts in combating illegal migration, according to the chancellor.

"Egypt has proved that no one will leave Egypt illegally. This has become a confirmed fact," Kurz said.

The Egyptian president is set to attend the High-Level Forum Africa-Europe in Vienna on Tuesday as part of his 4-day official visit to Austria.

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