EU hails Egypt’s role in tackling illegal immigration

EU-flagFabrice Leggeri, executive director of European Border and Coast Guard Agency, on Wednesday praised Egypt’s role to stop the flow of illegal immigration into Europe from Egyptian coasts.

Leggeri, who is on a visit to Egypt, met with Ihab Fawzi, assistant minister of Foreign Affairs for Multilateral Affairs and International Security, said the Egyptian Foreign Ministry in a statement.

During the meeting, both sides discussed the latest development in immigration and asylum in the region, Egypt’s stance on refugee and legal immigration issues, as well as methods targeting reasons for illegal immigration, the statement said.

Leggeri highlighted the contribution of Egypt’s border guards, expressing his wish to benefit from Egypt’s expertise in such area, the statement said.

Fawzy said efforts to prevent illegal immigration have been a huge burden on the Egyptian state and Egypt was expecting to the international community and its partners to share the responsibilities.

Egypt is a favorable destination for illegal immigrants trying to cross its territories to neighboring Libya on their way to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea, in hope of fleeing difficult economic conditions back home.

In October 2016, Egypt’s parliament voted for a cabinet bill combating illegal immigration and human smuggling. The 34-article bill stipulates a penalty of between 50,000 Egyptian pounds (2,796 U.S. dollars) and 200,000 pounds or a prison sentence.