Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg says Egypt plays pivotal regional role

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry meets senior Nato and EU officials during trip to Brussels

epa09269382 NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks to the press prior to a NATO summit at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) headquarters in Brussels, Belfium, 14 June 2021. The allies meet to agree a statement stressing common ground on securing their withdrawal from Afghanistan, joint responses to cyber attacks and relations with a rising China.  EPA/KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / POOL

Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg has described Egypt as an important partner for the alliance, saying Cairo plays a pivotal role in the region.

He met Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry at Nato’s headquarters on Monday. According to a Nato statement, there they held talks on developments that affect Egypt’s security and interests.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said the two men looked at how they could strengthen co-operation in a number of areas including cybersecurity, tackling terrorism and illegal migration, and clearing mines.

They also discussed a series of regional security challenges, including the Eastern Mediterranean, the Sahel and the Horn of Africa.

Nato spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said the relationship between the alliance and Egypt was more than 25 years old. That came through the Mediterranean Dialogue, initiated in 1994, which developed co-ordination between Nato and seven regional states – Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.

Earlier on Monday Mr Shoukry met senior EU officials and foreign ministers.

Among those was his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias, who said they touched on “almost everything”.

“Egypt is a country of cardinal importance for the region, so it touches upon Middle East, the Eastern Mediterranean, energy, Ethiopia, the Renaissance Dam, Libya, Syria – you name it, it is there. But I have to say, it was extremely interesting,” Mr Dendias said.

Updated: July 12th 2021, 5:26 PM