Egypt’s Ambassador to Brussels and its representative to the European Union (EU) and NATO, Badr Abdel Aty, affirmed Egypt’s categorical rejection of the forced displacement of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, inside or outside its territory.
He made this statement in his speech at the International Conference on the “Global Alliance against Migrant Smuggling”, organized by the European Commission to discuss ways to strengthen international cooperation in the field of combating migrant smuggling.
The conference was attended by the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the Commissioner for Migration Affairs Ilva Johansson, as well as interior ministers and representatives of more than 55 countries from Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Abdel Aty explained that Egypt adopts a comprehensive approach to dealing with migration issues, not limited to security dimensions, but also including developmental, economic, and social dimensions to address the root causes of illegal migration.
He highlighted the success of the Egyptian experience in combating illegal migration and the absence of any illegal migration boats that have left the Egyptian coasts since September 2016. He stressed the need for joint action to increase legal migration from Egypt to the EU, through launching technical and vocational training and education programs to qualify Egyptian workers for the European labour market and to give them regulated job opportunities, which contributes to reducing the number of illegal immigrants to the EU countries.
Abdel Aty also highlighted Egypt’s hosting of about 9 million refugees, who enjoy basic services like Egyptian citizens, in addition to receiving hundreds of thousands of Sudanese since the outbreak of the recent crisis, and the economic burdens that this represents.
The European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, pointed to the need to strengthen cooperation between the countries of origin, destination, and transit in the fight against migrant smuggling networks, and expressed the EU’s aspiration to establish more partnerships at the bilateral level to provide job opportunities and facilitate circular migration, bridging the gap in the European labor market.
The European Commissioner for Migration and Internal Affairs, Ilva Johansson, praised the existing good cooperation with Egypt as an important partner of the EU, and the importance of continuing to support bilateral cooperation in the field of migration.
The International Conference on the “Global Alliance against Migrant Smuggling” focused on ways to prevent the smuggling of migrants, and counter the smuggling of migrants, as well as alternatives to illegal migration as an essential deterrent tool for the smuggling of migrants.