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Egypt-German cooperation agreement on immigration and refugees

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry seen at the Libyan peace talks held in Tunisia on February 20, 2017 [Amine Landoulsi / Anadolu Agency]
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry seen at the Libyan peace talks held in Tunisia on February 20, 2017 [Amine Landoulsi / Anadolu Agency]

On Sunday, Egypt and Germany signed a cooperation agreement regarding immigration and refugee matters.

This agreement came after a meeting between the Egyptian Foreign Affairs Minister, Sameh Shoukry, and his German counterpart, Sigmar Gabriel, in Berlin.

In a statement, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed that “Shoukry witnessed the signing of the paper containing the joint elements of cooperation between Egypt and Germany in relation to immigration […] to find solutions that will serve both countries’ interests.”

According to the statement, the agreement includes “addressing both the economic as well as the social root causes of the phenomenon instead of dealing with it from a narrow security perspective only”.

Gabriel also told a press conference that Germany “shares the same vision with Egypt , especially when it comes to fighting terrorism and extremism, and issues related to refugees and illegal immigration.”

Gabriel also described the agreement as “significant for Egypt, Germany and Europe.”

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The German Minister stressed that “any projects in the Nile need Egyptian approval beforehand, emphasising that the Nile River is a matter of life for Egypt”, alluding to Egyptian fears regarding the impact of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on its share of the Nile water.

During his speech at the conference, the Egyptian Minister Sameh Shoukry said that his talks with his German counterpart addressed the “German-Egyptian partnership and ways to develop it, especially in relation to economic and military cooperation, as well as immigration, security, and fighting terrorism”.

Shoukry revealed that “the immigration agreement will enter into force within the coming days”.

Shoukry added: “I negotiated with the German Foreign Minister the European position regarding Egypt’s rights in the Nile water, and I welcome his assertion of our right in that water and of Germany’s understanding of the importance of the Nile River for Egypt and its existence.”

Read: Egypt: Ethiopia is yet to start filling its reservoir

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