Sameh Shoukri was spotted planting a tree in the “Grove of Nations” at Farmleigh Estate – Press Photo
CAIRO – 19 February 2019: Egypt's foreign minister was spotted planting a tree in the Grove of Nations at Farmleigh Estate on the second day of his visit to Ireland, marking the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Egyptian Embassy there.
During his visit to Dublin, Sameh Shoukri held a panel discussion with members of the Institute for International and European Affairs (IIEA) on Monday, where they discussed the latest developments in the Middle East and the Egyptian vision concerning regional issues, Ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez said.
The minister discussed the current challenges facing the Middle East at the political, security and economic levels, which are by nature trans-boundary challenges that extend to many countries and regions of the world, Hafez said.
The minister also reviewed regional developments,including the Syrian crisis, and the situation in Libya and Yemen, according to Hafez. Shoukri stressed Egypt's firm stance that is based on preserving the unity of the Arab countries and pushing forward political solutions.
Egypt's stance aims at achieving peaceful settlement of all crises in the region and meeting the legitimate aspiration of the Arab peoples, Shoukri said. He also highlighted efforts to combat terrorism.
Furthermore, Shoukri stressed the centrality of the Palestinian cause to the Arab people, and the importance of achieving stability in the entire region through reaching a comprehensive and just peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis based on the two-state solution, Hafez continued.
The minister, in this regard, affirmed Egypt's fixed stance toward supporting the legitimate and longstanding rights of the Palestinian people. He also referred to Egypt's continuous efforts to unify the Palestinian factions and alleviate the suffering of the Palestinians, Hafez added.
A mini-consultative meeting of a number of foreign ministers is scheduled for Tuesday to discuss the latest developments in the Middle East peace process.
On Sunday, Shoukri held talks with Simon Coveney, the Irish foreign minister and deputy prime minister, to discuss means of boosting bilateral relations.
During the meeting, they both reviewed the most prominent aspects of the economic and trade relations between Egypt and Ireland, which have witnessed a remarkable enhancement over the past four years, according to an official statement.
Shoukri referred to promising opportunities for cooperation in many fields such as medicines, information and communications technology, renewable energy, milk and meat, the statement added.
The meeting also highlighted the importance of declaring a direct flight between Cairo and Dublin, especially since Egypt has regained its status as one of the most prominent destinations for European tourists in 2018.
Shoukri met on Friday with Jean-Pierre Lacroix, United Nations under-secretary-general for Peacekeeping Operations, on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference 2019.
According to a Friday statement, Shoukri and Lacroix discussed the situation in several African countries, including Mali, Congo, South Sudan and Central Africa.
Lacroix praised Egypt’s “vital role” in peacekeeping and supporting "Action for Peace" initiative supervised by the United Nations. He added that the initiative still needs more support from the UN members in order to reach more effective results.
Lacroix also affirmed the importance of the continuing communication between Cairo and the UN, especially after Egypt received the chairmanship of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government for 2019.
The Foreign Ministry’s statement pointed out that Egypt will continue its regional and international efforts to enhance peace and security in the entire African continent.