DUBLIN, Ireland - The Egyptian foreign minister arrived in Dublin on Sunday for a visit marking the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Egyptian embassy in Ireland.
The minister, Sameh Shoukry, caught up with his Irish counterpart and Tanaiste Simon Coveney on Sunday.
"I was glad to have the opportunity to welcome Minister Shoukry to Ireland. We had productive discussions strengthening our bilateral relations, as well as our joint interests in EU-Egypt and EU-Arab cooperation, ahead of the first ever EU-League of Arab States Summit which will take place in Egypt on 24-25 February," Coveney said after their meeting.
"Egypt is the largest country in the Arab world, and plays a pivotal role in a region where Ireland has a deep interest. I am committed to broadening and deepening Ireland's relationship with Egypt, in the interests of the citizens of both countries, and I look forward to Ireland engaging further with Egypt across the full spectrum of issues, including trade, regional security and consular affairs."
The Egyptian foreign minister said their talks covered both bilateral relations as well as international issues; and the need to further strengthen Egyptian-Irish relations on the political, Trade, and economic levels.
The pair discussed the establishment of a direct flight between Cairo and Dublin.
"We had insightful consultations on the peace process in the Middle East and ways of working towards a comprehensive, just and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine, as well as Africa-EU cooperation," Shoukry said.
"We also discussed the first Arab EU summit that will be hosted in Sharm el Sheikh, the city of peace, during the next week; I look forward to Ireland's active participation in this significant summit that seeks reinforcing Arab EU relations and establishing a better common future."
During his visit to Ireland, the Egyptian foreign minister will meet with President Higgins and the Ceann Comhairle, Sean O Fearghaíl T.D. He will also give a briefing at the Institute of International and European Affairs to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Egyptian Embassy in Ireland in 2018 and he will plant a tree in the "Grove of Nations" at the Farmleigh Estate.
File photo - Irish FM Simon Coveney (left) together with Egyptian FM Sameh Shoukry (right) in Cairon on 8 January last year