Foreign Minister Heiko Maas met his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry for a working visit in Berlin on Wednesday (4 July). The agenda included both the conflicts in Egypt’s neighbouring region and the situation of journalists and human rights activists in the country.
Focus on the main crises in the region
Libya, Syria and the conflict between Israel and Palestinians – Egypt is surrounded by numerous crises that also affect Europe’s security interests. “We believe that Egypt can provide significant input on the path to de‑escalation and a political settlement,” Maas said after the meeting. The Egyptian Government’s policies are of great importance in the Middle East conflict in particular. In this context, Germany and Egypt agree that a negotiated two‑state solution is the only way to bring the conflict to an end. Maas underlined that Egypt’s endeavours to bring about reconciliation among Palestinians was also essential in this regard.
Dialogue on freedom of the press and human rights
The human rights situation and freedom of the press in Egypt were also on the agenda. “Human rights and freedom of the press are also prerequisites for economic development through investments from abroad,” Maas said. The German Government views the situation of German political foundations in Egypt with concern. Maas and Shoukry affirmed that they would continue conducting a dialogue focused on a solution.