Tajani in Egypt talks about Libya and migrants without neglecting the Regeni case

The visit of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs has just ended, Antonio Tajaniin Egypt, which arrived after the recent visits to Turkey and Tunisia and after the trip to Italy of the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, as part of his participation in the Med Dialogues organized in Rome last December. Tajani tackled various topics with the Egyptian and Arab world personalities he met yesterday evening, from the fight against irregular immigration, to the crisis in Libya, passing through energy, the war in Ukraine and food security. Attention was also paid to the cases of Giulio Regeni and Patrick Zaki, although on the latter the minister announced that it is “Egyptian justice that decides”. In any case, the signals received from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi and his counterpart Shoukry have been positive. “There has been no reticence” on Cairo’s part, Tajani declared during a joint press conference with his Egyptian counterpart, adding: “I have again asked for cooperation from the Egyptian side. Both the president and the foreign minister have assured me of Egypt’s willingness to remove the obstacles that can create problems”. “The problem was raised by the president himself, who told me that it is Egypt’s intention to solve the problem and remove all the obstacles to an ever more fruitful collaboration between our countries,” he added.

Yesterday evening, Tajani was received by the secretary general of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, with whom he “discussed issues relating to stability in the Arab region, first of all the Palestinian one and cooperation between Europe and the Arab world”, according to as stated on Twitter by Aboul Gheit, adding: “Italy plays an important role in the Mediterranean and I can’t wait to strengthen our relations”. This morning, however, the minister went to visit the Coptic cathedral and the Coptic church of St. Peter, where in December 2016 a terrorist attack caused the death of 29 individuals and injured 47 others. Also in the morning, the vice president of the Advice was received by President Abdel Fattah al Sisi. On the occasion, said Tajani himself, the parties discussed “energy security, economic cooperation and stability in the Mediterranean, especially in Libya, also to counter irregular immigration”. The Libyan crisis was also a central theme in the talks with his counterpart Shoukry. “We must have a solution to the Libyan crisis”, declared the vice president of the Council during the joint press conference, continuing: “We want an agreement to be reached between the parties to have parliamentary elections and the election of the President of the Republic. Egypt is a very important country with which to compare ourselves to find the right and positive results in Libya”. “The solution to the Libyan problem is also part of the solution to the problem of illegal immigration” Tajani then reported, adding: “We know the action that Egypt carries out, which blocks the departures of migrants, but then maybe there are people who move illegally”. “I reiterated that it is important for us to make agreements. We are willing to have more legal migrants, including from Egypt”, continued the minister.

“In today’s talks we dwelt at length on economic issues and on the possibility of collaborating in all sectors, both from an energy point of view, from an industrial point of view and from an agricultural point of view”, said the vice president of the Council . In the afternoon, however, Tajani attended the signing of a memorandum of understanding between GKSD Investment Holding/San Donato Group and the Egyptian Ministry of Health for the management of one of the main local health institutions, the Sheikh Zayed hospital in Cairo. “I am here to strengthen cooperation between Egypt and Italy in all sectors”, declared the minister during his speech, defining the agreement reached “very important” for Italy, Egypt and for the health of the people Egyptian, hoping that it can “pave the way for many other agreements in the future”. “Safeguarding the health of citizens is a priority in all countries and we want to export our know-how to strengthen your organization and your network to support the Egyptian people”, said the minister, making it known that Rome and Cairo are willing to organize “a Business forum to strengthen cooperation also between entrepreneurs”. Finally, Tajani met the Grand Imam of Al Azhar Aḥmad al Tayeb. “Egypt is a reference for pluralism and interreligious dialogue,” wrote the minister on Twitter commenting on the meeting. “Italy is at the forefront for the protection of freedom of belief,” added Tajani.

Addressing journalists, Tajani underlined that “there is a great desire for Italy also in Egypt”, while Italy wants to act as an “active interlocutor” with all the Mediterranean countries, “capable of tackling problems, so that it can economic growth can be encouraged and the migratory and energy problems can be solved”. Italy boasts a vast presence of companies in Egypt. First of all, it should be noted that in 2015 Eni made the largest gas discovery ever made in Egypt and in the Mediterranean Sea, namely the Zohr field, within the Shorouk concession, about 190 kilometers north of the city of Port Said . On 13 April last Eni and Egas they signed a framework agreement to maximize gas production and LNG exports and on 25 August the Government assigned the offshore hydrocarbon exploration area el Arish to Egas and Eni in first approval. Recently, at the beginning of January, Eni announced a new important gas discovery in the Nargis-1 exploration well, in the “Nargis Offshore Area” concession, in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Egypt. The Nargis-1 well, drilled in 309 m of water by the drillship Stena Forth, encountered approximately 61 m of gas-containing Miocene and Oligocene sandstones. The discovery can be developed by exploiting the proximity to existing Eni infrastructures.

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Tajani in Egypt talks about Libya and migrants without neglecting the Regeni case