Czech shares with Egypt same concerns about GERD issue, encourages negotiations: FM

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Mon, 02 Aug 2021 - 09:41 GMT

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Czech counterpart, Jakub Kulhanek hold a press conference in Cairo. Egyptian foreign ministry

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Czech counterpart, Jakub Kulhanek hold a press conference in Cairo. Egyptian foreign ministry

CAIRO – 2 August 2021: Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek said on Sunday that his country shares with Egypt the same concerns about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) dispute.

In a press conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Kulhanek said Czech strongly encourages negotiations to reach solutions based on talks.

Kulhanek said he encourages parties to deal with this issue without delay and to consider the element of time as millions of peoples’ lives depend on fast solutions for the issue.

Kulhanek said tourism over the two years have been negatively impacted due to coronavirus and that part of his duty is to work on facilitating tourism flow to Egypt and other countries.

The Czech minister said throughout the past two winters, the Egyptian beaches on the Red Sea have been the best destination for tourists from his country despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Kulhanek hailed the actions Egypt has taken to ensure the safety of the tourists amid the pandemic, noting that 300 Czech tourists before the pandemic have been visiting Egypt every year.

Shoukry said about 20 million Egyptian citizens depend on the tourism sector, which creates job opportunities for four million citizens and represents 10 percent of the GDP.

President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi also received Kulhanek on Sunday, where they expressed great interest in developing cooperation and localizing industry.

Sisi said Egypt is keen on furthering ties with the Czech Republic within the framework of the Visegrád Group, given that it includes friendly states similar in thought and ideology especially in terms of combating illegal immigration and capacity building, according to a statement by presidential spokesperson Bassam Rady.

Kulhanek said Czech wants to push relations forward with Egypt, being a fundamental pillar for stability in the Middle East and the Mediterranean, as the two discussed Egypt’s efforts against illegal immigration and terrorism.

The minister said his country is interested in maximizing investments in light of the positive developments in the Egyptian economy and the huge investment opportunities offered in the major national projects, especially in the Suez Canal economic zone.

They also discussed localizing industry in Egypt and technology transfer.

Earlier, Kulhanek and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry attended the Egyptian-Czech Business Forum Sunday to discuss means to support investment in the two countries.

Kulhanek praised Egypt’s health measures to protect its visitors, as well as vaccinating all those who work in the tourism industry against the novel coronavirus. He said this has encouraged tourists from Czech to come to Egypt, adding that Egypt does not need to impose restrictions on tourists, but rather apply measures that help them.

Egypt conducts medical tests on tourists upon their arrival and it consults with the Czech Republic in this regard, the minister continued.

For his part, Shoukry said Egypt plans to vaccinate some 80 million Egyptians.

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