German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock speaks during a press conference with her Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry at the Tahrir Palace in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022.AP
Baerbock, who is currently on his first visit to Egypt, made the remarks when meeting President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in Cairo on Saturday. His visit is part of his Middle East tour, which included Israel, Palestine and Jordan.
Baerbock, 41, the German FM under German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, is the first woman to hold the post of foreign minister in Germany and also the youngest to hold the position.
Scholz, the leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), was sworn in as German chancellor in December.
El-Sisi asked Baerbock to convey his greetings to Scholz, stressing the importance Egypt attaches to strengthening cooperation with Germany in different fields, Egyptian President’s spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement. .
Baerbock hailed Egypt as an axis of stability and balance in the Middle East and Africa, praising the country’s efforts to combat terrorism, extremist thought and irregular migration.
She also welcomed the fact that Egypt welcomes millions of refugees, integrates them into its society and guarantees them basic rights.
Strengthen partnership, cooperation
The new German government is keen to strengthen relations with Egypt to ensure the success of the ongoing partnership between the two countries, Baerbock said.
Egypt regards its relations with Germany as a main axis of Egyptian relations with Europe, El-Sisi said, affirming the great importance that Egypt attaches to its strong relations with the German side, according to the statement.
El-Sisi also highlighted the strong and unprecedented commitment of German companies to the ambitious development plans that Egypt has implemented over the past years.
Furthermore, the President expressed his aspirations to continue the ongoing cooperation with the new German government on the basis of mutual respect and a balanced partnership, given the central role of each of the two countries within their region.
He also said that Egypt looks forward to increased investment from German companies in Egypt, expressing its aspirations to also benefit from German experience and technology in locating industry in Egypt.
Baerbock said Egypt’s ongoing nationwide development megaprojects would help provide promising opportunities to maximize German investment in Egypt, particularly in the areas of infrastructure, transport, renewable energy, electricity and education.
Cooperation on climate, hosting COP27
In addition, the German Foreign Minister praised the important role played by Egypt in the framework of international and regional efforts to deal with climate change, expressing his aspiration to strengthen cooperation with Egypt in this regard, according to the press release.
Egypt is due to host the 27th session of the United Nations Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh in November.
The country is keen to ensure that the conference yields optimal results and sees as many participants as possible, including representatives of civil society organizations that operate in the field of the environment, said El- Sissi, pledging to grant them the freedom to express their opinions.
Egypt will also seek to build on the international momentum generated by COP26 in Glasgow and come up with ambitious outcomes and initiatives that contribute to strengthening international climate action at all levels.
This includes, inter alia, reducing emissions, strengthening the capacity of developing countries to adapt to the negative impacts of climate change and improving developing countries’ access to climate finance, El-Sisi said.
Discuss Libyan and Palestinian issues
El-Sisi and Baerbock also discussed developments related to a number of regional issues of common interest, the spokesperson said, adding that they agreed to continue coordination to address current challenges in the region. region, in particular the Palestinian and Libyan issues.
The President agreed with Baerbock on the importance of concerted joint efforts between Egypt and Germany to implement the results of the Berlin conference on Libya.
This comes with the aim of resolving the situation in the Arab country in a comprehensive manner that helps eliminate terrorism, protect state resources and national institutions, and restore security and stability in Libya.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and German Ambassador to Cairo Frank Hartmann attended the meeting.
Earlier Saturday, Shoukry and Baerbock held consultations on human rights, the Palestinian cause, the crisis in Ukraine, as well as bilateral relations.
In a press conference following his meeting with Baerbock, Shoukry highlighted cooperation with Germany on arms exports, saying that “Egypt’s reliance on Germany for its armament needs is a means of protecting its national security and its borders”.