Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with his British counterpart James Cleverly on Monday in New York, on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly. The two ministers discussed the historical and strategic relations between Egypt and the UK and the ways to enhance cooperation in various fields.
According to a statement by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid, the meeting also focused on some priorities of mutual interest, such as preparing for the second session of the Egypt-UK Association Council, which will be chaired by the two foreign ministers, and exchanging views on several regional and international issues.
Shoukry expressed the Egyptian government’s interest in strengthening economic ties with the UK, increasing trade and investment, and expanding the British development cooperation portfolio with Egypt. He also briefed Cleverly on the positive steps taken by the Egyptian government in implementing the economic reform program and the investment opportunities offered by Egypt.
Cleverly praised the strategic partnership between Egypt and the UK and expressed his desire to visit Egypt soon to hold the second meeting of the Egypt-UK Association Council. He also acknowledged Egypt’s regional role and its efforts to support security and stability in the region. He noted the importance of using the upcoming UK-Africa Investment Summit in 2024 to promote investment in Egypt and the role of the Egyptian-British Business Council in this regard.
The two ministers also discussed the developments in Libya, Sudan, and other regional issues. Shoukry reviewed Egypt’s efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to Libya after Hurricane Daniel and to push for a political solution that leads to elections. He also shared the results of Egypt’s contacts and meetings within the framework of Sudan’s neighboring countries mechanism.
The two ministers agreed on the importance of continuing to work together to advance bilateral relations between Egypt and Britain and to coordinate on priority issues in the region.
In a different regard, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry led the Egyptian delegation at the Sustainable Development Goals summit, which opened at the UN headquarters in New York on Monday. He was accompanied by Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said.
Shoukry stressed the importance of the global commitment to accelerate the pace of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, especially in light of the international crises that have hindered the development process and its gains in recent years. He said that these crises have exposed severe shortcomings in the international economic system, which have resulted in low global growth rates, high inflation rates, volatility of investment flows, deterioration of food and energy security, and worsening of the debt situation of developing countries.
The Foreign Minister called for immediate steps to strengthen the capacities of multilateral development banks to provide the necessary development financing, per the national priorities of developing countries. He also urged the developed countries to fulfill their commitments, including supporting a just transition to green growth based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and activating the agreement reached at the climate change conference in Sharm El-Sheikh on the Loss and Damage Fund.
The Egyptian statement reviewed Egypt’s priorities and efforts in implementing its development agenda “Egypt Vision 2030”, which includes the “Decent Life” initiative that aims to improve the living conditions of rural areas. Shoukry explained that Egypt is focusing on human development, especially in the health and education sectors, increasing women’s participation in the labor market, stimulating private sector participation, and setting a specific target for poverty reduction by 2027.