Europe calls and Egypt responds. It’s only been three days since the Vienna Summit on Saturday, when Germany and the countries of the Balkan route urged the European Union to make an agreement with Cairo to stop migrants, possibly similar to the one signed with Turkey.
Monday, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi responded to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s appeal. And the Egyptian President did so in two ways: first, by inviting young Egyptians not to leave the country to seek their future abroad, but also by announcing that the work for approving the new law against illegal immigration is proceeding quickly. The text would soon be released from the Committees of Constitutional Affairs, Budget and Foreign Affairs and sent off to the parliament.
This announcement follows Sisi’s order last Wednesday to strengthen controls at the borders, after the shipwreck off the Egyptian coast of a boat carrying 500 migrants, a tragedy that caused 160 known deaths.
In recent months, Egypt has become the second starting point for those who want to reach Europe, after Libya. Most migrants are Africans, but since the Balkan route was closed, many Syrian refugees are also going through Egypt. However, for some time, many Egyptians, especially young people, have been boarding the boats crossing the Mediterranean. They see no alternative but to try to create a new life in Europe.