Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri is on his first official visit to London on the 27 and 28 October for talks on the bilateral relationship and foreign policy. He will attend a dinner at Lancaster House for senior business executives hosted by Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood, and hold meetings with the Egyptian British Business Council and senior Parliamentarians.
Speaking after his meeting with Foreign Minister Shukri, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said:
The UK and Egypt have strong shared interests in defeating terrorism and supporting stability in the region.
I offered my personal condolences to Minister Shukri today following Friday’s attack on the Egyptian Armed Forces, which led to such tragic loss of life. We will stand with the Egyptian people in confronting terrorism in the Sinai and defeating the poisonous ideology that inspires it.
During our talks we discussed cooperation on key regional issues, focusing on our mutual commitment to support UN-led efforts towards a political settlement in Libya and on our support for renewed efforts on the Middle East Peace Process and reconstruction in Gaza. We agreed on the need for close partnership on countering terrorism, including to defeat and degrade ISIL and the threat it poses in the region.
The UK remains resolute in its support for the Egyptian people who have so clearly expressed their desire for political change. I discussed with Minister Shukri the need to protect the rights contained within Egypt’s new constitution, particularly freedom of the press, and again raised my concerns about the prosecution of Egyptian and international journalists, including two British nationals. I also raised Egypt’s legal framework, which must protect the right to demonstrate peacefully and safeguard space for civil society work in order to fulfil the Government of Egypt’s stated commitment to inclusive governance. Minister Shukri assured me of progress towards legislative elections in Egypt, which will be an important step in Egypt’s roadmap to restore democracy.
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