President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has asserted that Egypt does not allow refugees to meet their fate in the Mediterranean Sea crossing, but rather it has integrated them into Egyptian society.
Al-Sisi’s remarks came during a press conference on the sidelines of the Visegrad Group (V4) summit, which comprises Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland.
The summit tackled many topics such as illegal immigration and terrorism. The Egyptian president said that his country refused, from a moral and humanitarian perspective, to neither establish refugee camps on its territory nor allow illegal immigration to Europe.
He said that Egypt is working on establishing cooperation relationships with European institutions, pointing out that the government seeks to provide a decent life for its citizens.
In his speech at the summit, Al-Sisi mentioned the “Decent Life” initiative in Egypt which aims to develop the living standards for 60 million people in the countryside.
He said that Egypt has allocated EGP 700bn over three years to improve the living conditions and develop various sectors, such as education, health, sanitation, water treatment, roads, and irrigation.
In light of the world challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic at the economic, social, and health levels, Egypt was keen to localize the COVID-19 vaccine industry, not only to meet Egyptians’ needs, but also to export vaccines to Africa in an attempt to bridge the gap between developing and developed countries in this regard.
The Egyptian President noted that the pandemic proved that humanity is vulnerable, which obliges the international community to combine its efforts and strengthen cooperation between various countries. To this end, he expressed Egypt’s aspiration to establish strategic partnerships with the countries of Visegrad.
Speaking about human rights issues, Al-Sisi stressed that Egypt is open to discuss this topic, asking European countries to cooperate with Egypt to provide decent education and job opportunities to the Egyptian youth who represent 65% of the total population.
The President asserted that the understanding of what is happening in Egypt is important, but not enough, explaining that the Visegrad Group must know that the Egyptian leadership respects and loves its people and strives for their progress.
This was the second time for President Al-Sisi to take part in the Visegrad summit after 2017, which reflects the keenness of the two sides to develop relations among them.
The President’s visit to Budapest will also witness intensive bilateral talks with senior Hungarian officials, led by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Hungarian President Janos Ader, to discuss strengthening political and economic relations between the two countries, as well as cooperation and coordination at the international and regional levels.