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Egypt Envoy: EU Ties Are Binding …

  • March 22nd, 2013
  • Posted by EUEditor

egypt-ambresize.jpgEgypt’s Ambassador to Australia, Hassan Hanafy Mahmoud El-Laithy, wants the impact of the “Arab Spring” to further the chances of Middle East peace – and he foresees strengthening relations between his own country and Europe.

He said (20.3.13) the revolution in Egypt should bring a change in relations that would be “nothing except for the better”.

His country, as a leader in the Middle East region, also had traditional, deep relationships with European countries, and there was a need to strengthen such links in political, security, economic and many other fields of activity.

“Both sides need to maintain and strengthen the relationship; whether it is described as a ‘Mediterranean Partnership’ , or in other terms, I firmly believe Europe and Egypt have a lot to do together because of what each side can do for the other.”

Dr Hassan El-Laithy has been Ambassador at Canberra for six months, after postings in Africa and the Middle East, and four European states: Austria, Croatia, Germany and Slovakia. During 2005-6 he was Deputy Assistant Minister for European Affairs, dealing with strategic and security organisations in Europe: NATO, OSCE and the CFSP *.

He was speaking on his first tour to Australian states, at Brisbane, where he was hosted by the Australian Council for Europe, and addressed the Australian Institute for International Affairs, and  forums at two universities, Griffith University and QUT.

He said he was optimistic about the outcomes of the revolution in Egypt, where people were working to practice good governance and “real democracy”, after a long period without being able to participate in public affairs.

Working towards consensus, the country could achieve stability, and therefore better economic conditions, investment and jobs for the young.

Egypt will be in a position to promote peace agreements in the region, including peace agreements involving Israel and other regional partners. Egypt may also be in a position to better engage Iran as one of the countries of influence within the area.

ehypt-ambgg.jpgIn Australia Ambassador El-Laithy will be promoting educational and research cooperation, especially looking for expertise in water management and agriculture, in fields like cotton cultivation in dry conditions, and grazing for meat production.

Picture   With Governor General, Quentin Bryce, CoA

*North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), Organisation for security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), the security wing of the European Union.