Dehai News

MiddleEastMonitor.com: Germany and Egypt agree deal to stem migrant flow

Posted by: Berhane Habtemariam

Date: Monday, 28 August 2017

Germany and Egypt agree deal to stem migrant flow

 
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi during a press conference in Berlin, Germany on June 2015
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi during a press conference in Berlin, Germany on June 2015

Germany said on Monday it had reached a deal with Egypt to stem the flow of migrants from the Arab country, part of a broader push by Berlin to head off waves of migrants that have stoked domestic political tensions.

The arrival in Germany of a million refugees over the last two years, mainly from Syria and Iraq, opened deep rifts in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party and is becoming a campaign theme ahead of a September 24 national election.

Merkel and the European Union have already sealed a migrants deal with Turkey to stem the flow from the Middle East and her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said the Egypt deal would “fight illegal immigration and the criminal smuggling of people”.

“Under this agreement, there are a number of measures for political and economic support so that a better climate and better living conditions can be achieved for refugees in Egypt,” Seibert told a regular government news conference in Berlin. “Together, we will set up a centre for jobs, migration and reintegration”, he added. This centre would be in Egypt, a transit country for migrants striving to reach Europe.

In Paris, meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron prepared to host a summit of Europe’s “big four” continental powers including Germany, as well as three African nations to tackle Europe’s migrant crisis. Libya, Chad and Niger are all transit nations for migrants bound for Europe.

Since Turkey and the EU reached an agreement a year ago to curb the flow of migrants and refugees sailing from Turkish shores to Greece, most migrants have taken the more dangerous route from North Africa to Italy.

In Libya, people traffickers have operated with relative ease, but many migrants and refugees also set off from Egypt.

Merkel said in a weekend newspaper interview she has no regrets about her 2015 decision to open Germany’s borders to hundreds of thousands of refugees and added she will not be deterred from campaigning by angry hecklers.

Seeking a fourth term, Merkel has had to contend with loud and sustained heckling on her campaign trail from demonstrators strongly opposed to her refugee policies.

********************************************************************************

Egypt-German cooperation agreement on immigration and refugees

 
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on February 20, 2017. ( Amine Landoulsi - Anadolu Agency )
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on February 20, 2017. ( Amine Landoulsi - Anadolu Agency )

On Sunday, Egypt and Germany signed a cooperation agreement regarding immigration and refugee matters.

This agreement came after a meeting between the Egyptian Foreign Affairs Minister, Sameh Shoukry, and his German counterpart, Sigmar Gabriel, in Berlin.

In a statement, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed that “Shoukry witnessed the signing of the paper containing the joint elements of cooperation between Egypt and Germany in relation to immigration […] to find solutions that will serve both countries’ interests.”

According to the statement, the agreement includes “addressing both the economic as well as the social root causes of the phenomenon instead of dealing with it from a narrow security perspective only”.

Gabriel also told a press conference that Germany “shares the same vision with Egypt , especially when it comes to fighting terrorism and extremism, and issues related to refugees and illegal immigration.”

Gabriel also described the agreement as “significant for Egypt, Germany and Europe.”

The German Minister stressed that “any projects in the Nile need Egyptian approval beforehand, emphasising that the Nile River is a matter of life for Egypt”, alluding to Egyptian fears regarding the impact of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on its share of the Nile water.

During his speech at the conference, the Egyptian Minister Sameh Shoukry said that his talks with his German counterpart addressed the “German-Egyptian partnership and ways to develop it, especially in relation to economic and military cooperation, as well as immigration, security, and fighting terrorism”.

Shoukry revealed that “the immigration agreement will enter into force within the coming days”.

Shoukry added: “I negotiated with the German Foreign Minister the European position regarding Egypt’s rights in the Nile water, and I welcome his assertion of our right in that water and of Germany’s understanding of the importance of the Nile River for Egypt and its existence.”



Hdri Media Books on Amazon.com
visit hdrimedia.com

Eritv

Latest Video


Interview with Yemane Gebreab on migrants, Ethiopia, Djibouti and the future of Eritrea