Egypt’s FM to Sign EU Accord, Discuss Palestinian Crisis in Luxembourg Monday
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher is due to arrive Monday in Luxembourg to sign the Egyptian-European Union (EU) agreement and discuss the latest developments in the Palestinian territories, said reports.
Diplomatic sources at the foreign ministry told Egypt Online that signing the agreement was a major step towards building a huge economic bloc in the Mediterranean by 2010.
"Under the agreement, a free trade area will be set allowing Egyptian exports to be exempted from customs duties,” said the sources.
The Egyptian-European partnership will boost Egypt's agricultural exports,” said Youssef Wali, deputy premier and minister of agriculture and land reclamation.
The agreement will bring about a leap for exports of some agricultural crops to Europe like potatoes, citrus fruits, strawberrys, dates, peanuts and flowers, he said, affirming that agro-exports to Europe would, by virtue of this agreement, increase by 185-250 percent.
He added that the agreement had already helped bring about first-time exports to the EU of Egyptian agricultural products like strawberrys, flowers and cabbages.
Meanwhile, Maher said Sunday that his talks with EU leaders would focus on the current situation in the Palestinian territories and ways to revive the stumbling peace process, reported Al Ahram daily.
He stressed that there was a need to quickly implement the Mitchell report recommendations, adding that Europe had to play a greater role to "help the Palestinians and Israelis stop the bloodshed" in the Occupied Territories.
Maher will arrive in Luxembourg coming from the US, where he held talks with the Bush administration on bilateral and regional issues – Albawaba.com
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