Mohammed Abu Zaid
CAIRO: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has said that the key to tackling illegal immigration to Europe was bringing stability to the conflict-hit countries they were fleeing from.
Speaking during a joint press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban after talks in the capital Budapest, the Egyptian leader thanked the PM for his understanding of developments in the Middle East.
El-Sisi said he and Orban had agreed to move forward in cooperating on agricultural, economic, tourism, and industrial projects, adding that they had also discussed measures taken by Egypt to deal with illegal immigration across its land and sea borders.
He noted that restoring stability to the countries which migrants were using as staging posts to cross into Europe was important to addressing the crisis. “This is not only for Europe’s security … we should not allow people to throw themselves into the sea one way or another.”
The president pointed out Cairo’s appreciation of Orban’s continued support for Egypt and its army in the wake of mass protests between 2011 and 2013 and said his country looked forward to further benefitting from Hungarian expertise and capabilities in various sectors.
Orban is due to visit Egypt for the inauguration of its New Administrative Capital, a trip that El-Sisi said would offer the PM the opportunity to witness first-hand the progress that has taken place in the country over recent years.
El-Sisi added that he hoped Hungary’s current presidency of the Visegrad Group — a cultural and political alliance of four central European nations — would help in developing links with Egypt in areas including economic cooperation and tourism.
And he highlighted the need to draw up joint action plans to deal with energy and regional security issues.