Cairo, Egypt – The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the Egyptian Agency for Partnership for Development (EAPD) and CCCPA, organized a high-level meeting on peace, security and prosperity in the Red Sea region, from 11-12 December 2017. The meeting brought together 50 high-level officials and experts working on political, economic and security issues from Djibouti, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen and Egypt.
In his keynote address, Egypt’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hamdy Loza highlighted the importance and unique opportunities of the Red Sea region, which he described as “one of the oldest bridges between cultures” …that is today witnessing major political and security turbulence, including transnational threats such as illegal migration, human trafficking and terrorism. Loza emphasized the need for a common regional framework to enhance the political, security and economic cooperation in the region, and made clear Egypt’s determination to cooperate with bordering states in securing the vital Red Sea navigation route: “Although political disagreements exist in the region, they don’t present a barrier to our efforts to collaborate and benefit from our shared resources…today is a chance to enhance political dialogue, encourage investment and cooperation among Arab and African countries,” he said. Loza concluded his remarks by stating Egypt’s willingness to host another high-level meeting in 2018.
Over the course of two days, three working groups discussed political, security and economic cooperation. The event concluded by highlighting the need for a permanent mechanism between bordering states to seize the unique opportunities and overcome the ever-increasing challenges (final communique– in Arabic).
The meeting was the first of its kind in Africa and the Arab world to address common challenges and opportunities in the region. It drew on lessons learned and best practices from other sea basin cooperation mechanisms, with the aim of developing future platforms for dialogue and cooperation in the region.