Fahmy to discuss EU’s export licenses suspension in Spain

Joel Gulhane
2 Min Read
Foreign Affairs Minister Nabil Fahmy (AFP File Photo)
Foreign Affairs Minister Nabil Fahmy
(AFP File Photo)

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy will meet with business leaders in Spain during a two-day visit to the European nation. He is also expected to discuss the decision taken by European Union in August to suspend export licenses to Egypt following the violent dispersal of two sit-ins supporting former President Mohamed Morsi.

Fahmy arrived in Spain on Thursday morning having concluded a two-day visit to Senegal. In Madrid he is scheduled to meet with his Spanish counterpart José Manuel García-Margallo as well as the speaker of Spanish parliament Jesus Posada, according to a ministry statement.

The minister is also expected to meet with leaders of the Spanish Confederation of Employers’ Organizations to discuss current and future investments in Egypt’s ailing economy.

Fahmy is expected to discuss the decision of the European Union Foreign Affairs Council, of which Spain is a member, to revoke export licenses to Egypt relating to any equipment that could be “used for internal repression.” The decision came a week after security forces dispersed two pro-Morsi sit-ins in mid-August resulting in at least 500 deaths, according to the Forensics Authority.

Spokesman for the ministry Badr Abdelatty stressed that the visit is aimed at strengthening bilateral relations with Spain, which he described as “an important EU nation.” He added that the future of the EU-Egypt relationship would also be discussed.

Last week the United Kingdom restored 24 export licences, saying that each EU member state can act depending on its interpretation of the guidelines set out by the Foreign Affairs Council.

The ministry has embarked on intense diplomatic efforts to portray the “correct and proper” image of Egypt following a mixed international reaction to the ouster of  Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July. Some countries recalled ambassadors as well as issuing travel warnings for citizens.

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Joel Gulhane is a journalist with an interest in Egyptian and regional politics. Follow him on Twitter @jgulhane
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