First Historic Meeting of EU Leaders and League of Arab States
The first ever summit of leaders of the European Union and the League of Arab States took place, held two days in the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh.
The meeting opened 74-year-old Abdel Fatah Sissi, who since 2014 is the sixth president of Egypt, and since this month has assumed the presidency of the African Union. He met heads of state and government of 24 of the 28 countries in the European Union and 15 of the 22 Arab League countries. The other countries in the two organizations are represented at a lower level. Syria, whose membership in the Arab League has been frozen since 2011, is not participating until the plan to stop the bloodshed.
On the European side, only Spain, Latvia, Lithuania and France are represented by foreign ministers instead of head of state or prime minister.
On the lower side of the Arab side, Prime Minister or Speaker of Parliament is represented only by Jordan, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, the UAE and Sudan.
The topic of the plenary sessions of the First European Union - Arab League League Meeting is "Strengthening the Euro-Arab Partnership and Together Addressing Global Challenges". On the agenda are the issues of multilateralism, trade and investment, migration, terrorism, security and the situation in the region.
More than 750 journalists have been accredited for the meeting.
"I have worked very hard for this meeting, so that the European Council is here now because, despite the diametrically opposed views and attitudes in this part of the world, after all, they (the Arabs) are a very important partner. Once as a generator of relations - you remember the Arab Spring, the huge migration wave that can come from Africa to Europe and everything else, "Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov told reporters at the start of the meeting.
He announced that he had met with Egyptian President General Cassie and Lebanese President Hariri, who he called his friends. "Our relations have been such and I have been able to build such relationships that, as we call them, not to say with enemies, but with opponents like Turkey and Syria, we are equally well with the presidents of both states such as Kosovo and Serbia, Israel, like the United States and Russia. Our pragmatic policy is such that we have a very good balance of our interests, "Borisov said.
"When you embrace the Egyptian president, you must have as good a good relationship with Turkey's President, Tayyip Erdogan. That is why I give you an example that my relationship with these people is such that we do not put Bulgaria at risk in one direction or another, "said the Bulgarian Prime Minister.
"You know there are many, many disputes. Arrested, shut down the internet, but in the end this part of the world is such that we better talk to them, better to imply our values, to try to help the migratory wave, in case of broken contacts ... Only in Egypt there are five or six million who are waiting to become emigrants, "Borisov explained. "It is no coincidence that both the European Council, the Dutch Prime Minister and Jean-Claude Juncker know that contacts need to be deepened as much as some do not like. Not everything is perfect, not everything is what we would approve, but that's the way, "he added.
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