CAIRO, 8 November 2019 – Stronger ties between both sides of the Mediterranean Sea are necessary to tackle security challenges in the OSCE area, a high-level delegation from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly said this week in Egypt. The PA delegation, led by President George Tsereteli (MP, Georgia), included Vice-President Pascal Allizard (MP, France), who is also the Assembly’s Special Representative on Mediterranean Affairs, and Secretary General Roberto Montella.
“This visit to Egypt illustrates the good co-operation we already enjoy with Egyptian parliamentarians, who regularly participate in our meetings,” said President Tsereteli. “Given the prominence of issues such as terrorism or migration in our debates, it is essential that we continue to extend an open hand to parliamentarians from Egypt and other partner countries to learn more about their own experience and craft together the appropriate responses to the challenges of our times.”
In Cairo, the OSCE PA delegation was met by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ali Abdel Aal Sayyed Ahmed, and held talks with Deputy Foreign Minister Hamdi Loza, as well as the Assistant Ministers in charge of Human Rights, Parliamentary Affairs, and Multilateral Affairs. Vice-President Allizard also exchanged with experts from the International Organization for Migration.
Discussions touched on recent developments in the Middle East and common issues of concern, including the fight against radicalization and terrorism, and the migrant and refugee crisis. The OSCE PA’s Ad Hoc Committees were cited as a good example of the contribution of interparliamentary exchanges to respond to transnational security challenges. The PA delegation also discussed with Egyptian counterparts the need to maintain the delicate balance between domestic security and the safeguard of individual freedoms.
“Achieving security in Europe requires greater North-South dialogue between both shores of the Mediterranean,” said Vice-President Allizard. “Our meetings in Cairo complement the work we have undertaken in recent years to develop contacts and personal relationships with all our Partners. Such regular exchanges are key to better understanding the realities on the ground and they are essential to build the trust necessary to work together.”
As part of their visit, the PA delegation also met with Coptic Pope Tawadros II to exchange on the role of interfaith dialogue in promoting stability in Egypt.
This visit to Egypt was the first by an OSCE PA delegation since the country hosted the OSCE Mediterranean Conference of 2009.
“The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is eager to collaborate closely with all our Partners for Co-operation, as it was clearly demonstrated through the successful organization of our Autumn Meeting by Morocco last month,” said Secretary General Montella. “We now look forward to further deepening relations with the Egyptian parliament through increased participation in all our activities.”
Photos from the visit to Egypt are available for public use on Flickr.