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Berger Discusses Upcoming EU Business Conference in Egypt

In an exclusive interview with Sada ElBalad English, EU Ambassador to Cairo Christian Berger sheds light on the upcoming Business Conference in June 2024, regional tensions, and the pivotal role of Egypt in addressing multiple crises.

Sun 28 Apr 2024 | 09:32 AM
By Ahmad El-Assasy

EU Ambassador Christian Berger, who has been deeply involved with Egypt since 2020, highlighted the strength and strategic depth of EU-Egypt relations in a comprehensive interview. The ambassador spoke on the sidelines of the Aswan International Women's Film Festival and during his visits to EU-funded projects aimed at empowering women and combating violence.

Regional Stability and Gaza

Ambassador Berger expressed serious concerns about the escalating Israeli-Iranian tensions, stating, "The world cannot afford another conflict. We urge a de-escalation to prevent slipping into a regional war." He emphasized the EU’s ongoing efforts to curb the violence by Israeli settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, noting recent EU sanctions against extremist individuals and groups.

In terms of the Gaza situation, the ambassador highlighted the EU's substantial humanitarian aid funneled through Egypt to the Palestinians. "EU leaders like Josep Borrell, Ursula von der Leyen, and Charles Michel continue to advocate for increased aid deliveries to Gaza, not only via air or sea but also through land routes, including the Erez crossing," Berger stated.

Empowering Egypt

Discussing the economic landscape, Berger commended Egypt for its correct economic decisions, although he acknowledged that it would take time for these to manifest positive changes on the ground. He noted the eradication of the foreign currency black market and the normalization of banking transactions for Egyptians abroad, which are critical for Egypt’s economic stability.

The ambassador revealed plans for the upcoming EU-Egypt Business Conference in June 2024, aimed at enhancing investment opportunities in Egypt by addressing legislative needs and incentives, particularly in renewable energy, green economy, and stone industries for export to African nations.

Support for Refugees and Humanitarian Issues

Berger praised Egypt's substantial efforts in hosting thousands of refugees, particularly from Sudan amid ongoing conflicts. "Europe hasn’t overlooked the Sudanese crisis," he affirmed. The EU continues to support humanitarian operations and maintains political dialogues aimed at resolving the crisis.

A Farewell to Egypt

As he prepares to leave Egypt by the end of the year, Berger reflected on his tenure with a sense of accomplishment and a wealth of friendships. He praised the Egyptian spirit, saying, "Despite any crises, Egyptians manage to maintain their humor and resilience, qualities that greatly ease the challenges they face."

In conclusion, Ambassador Berger highlighted Egypt's critical role in regional and international arenas, affirming its strategic importance and historical richness, from its ancient civilizations to modern developments like the new administrative capital.

This article provides a comprehensive overview of EU-Egypt relations under Ambassador Christian Berger’s tenure, underscoring the collaborative efforts in regional stability, economic reform, and humanitarian support.