Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Egyptian-European Business Council Discusses Ukrainian Crisis, Soaring Energy-Food Prices, GERD

Wed 16 Mar 2022 | 08:04 PM
NaDa Mustafa

Abou El-Enein: Egypt showed respect for international law and condemned Russian actions during United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting

Abou El-Enein: World’s leaders must bear their responsibility in stopping the Russian-Ukrainian war

Abou El-Enein: The war is a tragedy that affects energy and food supplies

Abou El-Enein: In this war, there is no loser or winner, but all worlds' peoples would suffer

Abou El-Enein: A tribute to the Egyptian diplomacy icons on their centenary

Abou El-Enein: A legally-binding agreement must be reached on GERD crisis


On Wednesday, the Egyptian-European Business Council, headed by Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Mohamed Abou El-Enein, held a meeting to discuss the current international developments, especially with regard to (the Russian-Ukrainian War) and its repercussions on the Egyptian and international economies.

The meeting was attended by Lieutenant-General Osama Rabie, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, and the EU ambassadors in Cairo, in addition to the newly accredited ambassadors of France, Italy, Norway, and Germany and members of the Investors Division of the General Federation of Chambers of Commerce.

The attendees called for reaching a diplomatic consensus in order to end the Russian-Ukrainian war, which has entered its fourth week, amid a real crisis in energy sources due to the rise in oil and gas prices, as well as an increase in inflation rates due to the large increase in food prices.

During the meeting, the 20th anniversary of the inauguration of the Egyptian-European Business Council was celebrated, in addition to honoring a number of founders and pioneers of the Council and awarding the shield of the Council to Lieutenant-General Osama Rabie.

The HoR deputy speaker Mohamed welcomed Lieutenant-General Osama Rabie, as well as the new ambassadors who attended the meeting.

Addressing the EU Ambassadors, Abou El-Enein stressed that the Russian-Ukrainian war is a great tragedy that our world is witnessing, and will strongly affect energy supplies and the world's food basket.

Abou El-Enein explained that the current war caused a regression to square one, as the world today returned to dependence on fossil fuels due to the record increase in oil prices.

The prominent businessman added that the tragic war comes at a time when the world is almost emerging from the coronavirus pandemic and its economic repercussions, and from the human tragedies of losing friends.

He noted that there was hope that the world economy could witness a slight improvement to face the repercussions of the pandemic, but the war has dashed our hopes.

Abou El-Enein said, "The Russian-Ukrainian war affects every family in any country around the world, and there are misleading media campaigns on both sides. It is time to take quick steps to stop this war, to compensate for the lack of energy and the deficit in food baskets, as well as forgetting climate change, due to the high demand on fossil fuels."

The MP stressed that world leaders should promptly join their hands and discuss ways of enhancing cooperation to end the state of collapse in the global economy, noting that the Egyptian-European Council is one of the non-governmental organizations whose proposals must be taken into account.

Abou El-Enein urged the European ambassadors to use the Egyptian media platforms to address the public with their constructive proposals to solve the Russian-Ukrainian crisis

The lawmaker added that the Egyptian people will welcome any decisions to help end the current crisis, pointing out that Egypt is known as 'the land of peace', and respects international law. He said that Egypt had voted in favor of international legitimacy resolutions during the United Nations Security Council meeting.

With regard to the rise in international wheat prices and their impact on the Egyptian economy, Abou El-Enein confirmed that Egypt has a surplus stock that is sufficient until the end of the current year. He noted that President Abdel-Fattah El Sisi called for raising the price of wheat supply from local farmers to encourage them to sell it to the government, hailing the state’s plan to increase the cultivated area by about 250,000 feddans.

The HoR's Deputy Speaker valued the steps taken by the government under the directives of President Sisi, in all fields, especially in the areas of infrastructure, praising the free trade agreements that Egypt signed with various African and European countries.

He also hailed the newly-drafted laws by the government in order to encourage Investment, saying "It is a time to invest in a safe Egypt because of the suitable environment for export and industrialization."

On the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) crisis, Abou El-Enein affirmed that Egypt is committed to the agreements it had signed in accordance with international law, calling on the ambassadors to play a role in compelling Ethiopia to sign a binding agreement on filling and operating the dam. He also denounced the Ethiopian intransigence that would put the lives of one hundred million Egyptians at risk.

In addition, he said that he was fortunate to participate this year as a keynote speaker in the fourth edition of the World Youth Forum, which was held in Sharm El-Sheikh resort city in January 2022

He added that the forum witnessed broad participation of representatives for 197 countries, totaling 7,000 young men and women, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Abou El-Enein explained, "The event was very inspiring for all of us to be surrounded by young people from all over the world who have infinite ideas for development and innovation."

"At the same time, it was a great and important reminder to us…that we “leaders” must assume our responsibilities to make this world a safe place for future generations so that they can efficiently lead the next stage," the MP added.

Abou El-Enein added that after Russia invaded eastern Ukraine, on February 24, 2022, concerns about Russian gas exports to Europe increased, as Moscow has repeatedly demonstrated that it has used energy exports to capitalize on numerous geopolitical gains.

He pointed out that the issue of persifying energy sources has once again come to the surface, especially in light of the continued energy crisis and high oil and natural gas prices.

The Egyptian businessman pointed out that the world needs to spend $4 trillion annually on renewable energy to reach 0% zero emissions from fossil fuel use.

He said: "We have repeatedly warned that the energy crisis may lead to a geopolitical crisis as it is related to the issue of food, which is a national security issue in the first place."

He noted, "There are wars that erupted due to a conflict over oil wells, and revolutions were also staged as a result of food insecurity."

During the meeting, they held a minute of silence in honor of the late MP Basant Fahmy, a member of the Egyptian-European Business Council.

The MP confirmed that the last year saw the highest rate of environmental pollution in history, due to reliance on unclean fossil energy by major industrial countries that caused 80% of emissions and climate change.

He added this has negatively affected industry, agriculture, services and supply chains in many countries, which had to raise the cost of using electricity.

The prominent businessman voiced his hopes that the whole world will be self-sufficient in renewable energy, but many countries face technological and financing problems, and there is a dire need for international initiatives to find solutions to these problems.

He stressed that more than half of European gas supplies come from Russia through gas pipelines, and about 27% of European oil imports come from Moscow.

Abou El-Enein noted that the influx of Ukrainian refugees is the fastest in Europe since World War II, as more than 1.5 million refugees have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries since the start of the Russian invasion.

In a previous report on the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, the UNHCR said that about 4 million people could flee Ukraine during the coming summer months.

Osama Rabie: Suez Canal is an International one … SCA abides by the “Constantinople convention.”

On his part, Lieutenant-General Osama Rabie, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) stressed that the Suez Canal abides by international agreements, especially the “Constantinople convention.”

Moreover, he added that the SCA is carrying out many expansions in the Small Bitter Lake, in order to complete the duplication of the Suez Canal.

On the other hand, the SCA chairman also noted that the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian war is still intangible, but it will inevitably occur, and the Black Sea trade transiting the canal will be affected.

In addition, Rabie added that the authority deals with the Russian-Ukrainian crisis impartially, in accordance with the “Constantinople convention”, under which we perform all services to ensure the passage of all vessels in complete safety and in a period not exceeding 11 hours.

SCA Chairman also added that the SCA is currently working on implementing the Suez Canal new expansion project, which includes deepening the canal from 132 km to 162 km, in the southern sector of the canal’s navigational course.

The project also includes the duplication of the canal with a length of 10 km, from km 122 to km 132 near the Bitter Lakes, so that the canal would have two branches of 10 km length to improve navigation by 28%, and increase the number of vessels passing through the canal to reach 6 ships; 3 in each direction.

Norwegian Ambassador: We values Egypt's position on the Russian-Ukrainian crisis

Korean Ambassador: Egypt is the main partner of South Korea

Hilda Klimtsdale, the Norwegian Ambassador in Cairo praised Egypt's position on the Ukrainian crisis under the umbrella of the United Nations (UN).

On his part, the South Korean Ambassador in Cairo Hong Jin-Wook expressed his happiness at his participation in this event, highlighting his country’s significant cooperation with Egypt in various fields, especially in industry and military industrialization sectors.

He pointed out that Egypt is the main partner of South Korea, as it is one of the countries that are able to turn its crises into opportunities to move forward towards further progress and development.

On the other hand, the South Korean Ambassador called for the end of the Ukrainian-Russian war, as the world would not bear any other crises, especially after the repercussions it had suffered caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also praised Egypt's organization of the "COP27" conference on climate change.

French Ambassador: We welcome Egypt's organization of the "COP27" conference in Sharm El-Sheikh next November

The French ambassador in Cairo Marc Baretti called for the necessity of not taking decisions by any country that might affect poor countries, pointing out that 24 countries supported Ukraine in its war against Russia at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting.

Moreover, the French diplomat hailed Egypt's organization of the COP27 climate conference, which will discuss the outcomes of the previous climate change meetings, to ensure a safe planet for our peoples.