Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy received the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Baroness Ashton on October 3.
The meeting addressed bilateral relations in general, particularly financial issues within the EU's aid program and trade relations, as well as the means of attracting investments and the recommendations of joint EU-Egypt Task Force held in November 2012. Both sides also addressed cooperation between Egypt and European financial institutions such as the European Investment Bank EIB and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development EBRD in the coming period.
The Official Spokesman for the Foreign Ministry stated that the meeting also tackled the Nile Basin Initiative, and the developments of the Renaissance Dam project, further to the importance of reaching a solution that benefits all and does not harm Egypt's historical water interests.
The Spokesman added that the meeting also addressed a number of important regional issues topped by the Syrian crisis and accelerating preparation for the Geneva 2 Conference without focusing exclusively on chemical weapons. It also tackled the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations and the importance of stopping Israel's settlement policy and the repeated incursions into Al Aqsa Mosque. Fahmy also affirmed the importance of agreeing upon an international mechanism to ensure that basic materials reach the Palestinians in Gaza.
On her part, Baroness Ashton affirmed the EU's firm stance on banning products produced in Israeli settlement areas from European markets, as they are illegitimate.
The Spokesman outlined that the two sides also addressed the Iranian nuclear dossier, within the context of Ashton's recent meeting with the new Iranian President and the Iranian Foreign Minister. Fahmy reiterated Egypt's regret regarding the delaying of the 2012 conference to clear the Middle East of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the need to hold the conference before the end of 2013 or by spring 2013, pointing to the initiative he launched in Egypt's statement before the 68th session of the UN General Assembly to free the Middle East of weapons of mass destruction, which was praised by Ashton.
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