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EU and Egypt discuss food security and energy cooperation

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The European Union (EU) and Egypt addressed this Sunday the challenges for food security in the Middle East posed by the war started by Russia in Ukraine, as well as energy cooperation, after the two parties agree to transport Israeli natural gas to Europe through the Arab country.

“Let me put on the table during our meeting that we want to be, and I think we are, the most reliable partner. We invest, we trade, we support the Egyptian people, and we want to continue doing so”, indicated the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, before the press when receiving the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, to participate in an Association Council EU-Egypt.

Shoukry, who on Monday will also participate in a lunch with the Foreign Ministers of the Twenty-seven, thanked the EU for its support in dealing with food insecurity caused by the Russian blockade of the transport of Ukrainian grain from the ports of that country in the Black Sea, as well as inflationary pressures and rising energy costs.

However, Shoukry also stressed that his country can also be “a productive partner” and recalled the creation of the Eastern Mediterranean gas center and its “ability to supply energy reliably and constantly”.

Likewise, he alluded to Egypt’s efforts in the field of renewable energies and clean energies, and pointed out that with a view to holding COP27 in November they will launch “a series of initiatives, both regional and global, to advance in the climate change agenda.

“To increase the ambition, but also the capacity and the opportunity for Egypt to be a major producer of green energy, whether it is wind or solar or hydrogen,” he said.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, signed a memorandum of understanding with Egypt and Israel on June 5 in Cairo to bring Israeli gas to the EU, in a new attempt to seek alternatives to energy from Russia.

Borrell, for his part, recalled that the EU has already allocated 100 million euros to Egypt to alleviate the food crisis this year (support agriculture and food storage) and that the entire region will receive 1,000 million euros over the next seven years. euros.

“With Egypt we also have to talk about how to cooperate with the United Nations in efforts to unblock Ukrainian exports. There are 20 million tons of wheat missing from the international market. 20 million tons make a lot of bread. And many people, if we don’t unblock the Ukrainian ports, will be in serious conditions”, commented the Spanish politician.

The objective of the Association Council between Egypt and the EU is to approve the priorities that will guide their relations in the next five years.

“We will focus on building a sustainable economy, mainly on the ecological and digital transition, on sharing our partnership on foreign affairs,” Borrell said.

In addition, the high representative trusted that the two parties continue “advancing our common commitments in the area of ​​human rights and the rule of law, in which we are finding a way to work together.”

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