Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Egypt, Cyprus, Greece Bolster Cooperation to Combat Illegal Migration

Egypt, Cyprus, Greece Bolster Cooperation to Combat Illegal Migration

Thursday, 19 December, 2019 - 10:30
Egyptian Immigration Minister Nabila Makram talks during a news conference in Cairo, Feb. 29, 2016. (Reuters)

Egypt, Greece and Cyprus have discussed bolstering cooperation in combating illegal migration.

This discussion comes in line with Egypt’s “Lifeboats” initiative, aimed at raising awareness on the dangers of leaving the country illegally.

Minister of Emigration and Egyptian Expatriates' Affairs Ambassador Nabila Makram started on Wednesday an official visit to the Greek capital, Athens, to hold a tripartite meeting with the Greek and Cypriot sides.

Makram said this visit is held to benefit from the Greek and Cypriot expertise and agree on features of cooperation in the international awareness campaign.

Illegal migration is a major problem for Europe. Egypt says it has adopted a comprehensive strategy to address the phenomenon.

According to earlier statements by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, not a single boat carrying migrants has sailed to Europe from the Egyptian coast  since 2016.

Nearly two years ago, the Egyptian parliament passed a law to curb illegal migration, following the increase in the flow of migrants to Europe.

In a statement on Wednesday, Makram said participants discussed details of the fourth version of “Nostos: Reviving Roots” initiative.

They also discussed implementation of the recommendations from the Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation Workshop and the three countries’ youth workshop, which was organized during the activities of the World Youth Forum 2019 in its third edition in Sharm El Sheikh.

The Minister noted that “Nostos: Reviving Roots” initiative aims to benefit from Egypt’s soft powers and promote its heritage and beauty among Egyptians abroad and their children who lived in Egypt.

She also praised the results achieved in previous versions.

Makram, Greek Deputy Minister of Education Sofia Zacharaki and Cypriot Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Issues and Overseas Cypriots Fotis Fotiou had met a few days ago with a group of Egyptian, Greek and Cypriot youth residing abroad.

The meeting came on the sidelines of their participation in the World Youth Forum.

They discussed several proposals, including the possibility of granting scholarships for the three countries’ youths, facilitating travel procedures and working on setting up a special forum for their youths.

Editor Picks