The EU’s Mediterranean agenda includes support for Egypt’s efforts against climate change: European Commissioner – Foreign Affairs – Egypt
Oliv r V rhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement. Archive photo / European Parliament
Várhelyi attended the opening ceremony of the fourth edition of Cairo Water Week (CWW) on Sunday and held talks with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.
CWW 2021, to be held October 24-28, will focus on the theme “Water, people and global changes: challenges and opportunities”, with a wide range of ministers, official delegations, senior officials from the water sector, scientists, representatives of international organizations, institutes and civil society organizations from different participating countries.
The annual event aims to raise awareness of water issues and promote innovation to tackle the most pressing water-related challenges.
In a speech at the opening ceremony, Várhelyi said that the EU’s investment plan under the New Mediterranean Agenda includes up to € 1 billion for Egypt until 2027 and 9 billion euros of additional investments that can also be mobilized for the country.
This is part of the 7 billion euros that the EU seeks to allocate from its budget to support long-term socio-economic development and recovery in the Southern Neighborhood over the next 7 years, mobilizing up to 30 billion euros. euros of public and private investment in the region, said Várhelyi.
He said the European Union has provided 550 million euros in grants since 2007 to support the country against water-related challenges and has mobilized around 3 billion euros in funds for the sector.
“Our existing programs funded with European financial institutions extend to more than 16 Egyptian governorates, providing nearly 20,000 permanent jobs and 600,000 short-term employment opportunities, mainly in rural areas,” Várhelyi said.
He added that these programs will help improve the lives of around 18.5 million Egyptians by 2024, which represents nearly 20% of the population.
During his meeting with President El-Sisi, Várhelyi expressed the hope of the EU to continue to develop cooperation with Egypt at all levels in the light of the common interest in addressing the challenges facing the region is facing, says a presidential statement.
He also praised Egypt’s vision for achieving sustainable development in the country as well as Egypt’s efforts to combat terrorism, extremist thinking and irregular migration.
This is in addition to Egypt’s role in spreading tolerance, peaceful coexistence and acceptance of others, Várhelyi said, saying these issues are high on the EU’s agenda.
The president “expressed Egypt’s aspiration to develop future relations with the EU by fostering mutual understanding between the two sides on the basis of lessons learned from the incidents the region has witnessed over the past decade. “, adds the press release.
El-Sisi and Várhelyi discussed vital regional and international issues, in particular regarding the resolution of the ongoing crises in the region, as well as the developments of the Palestinian cause.
They also agreed to step up coordination to fight terrorism, extremism and irregular immigration.