Egypt and the European Union will sign an association agreement on Monday in Luxembourg, paving the way for an opening of their markets, an Egyptian presidential source told AFP Thursday.
The signing of the accord will take place on the sidelines of the EU's ministerial council meetings, with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher attending, the source said, reporting a decision by President Hosni Mubarak.
On January 26, Egypt and the European Commission 26 initialed the agreement, which has been under negotiation for more than five years. After it is signed, the pact will have to be ratified in Cairo and all 15 EU capitals.
Under the accord, the EU market will open completely to all Egyptian products, including agricultural goods, while the Egyptian market will be opened on a smaller scale to European products.
The accord also calls for political, cultural and social dialogue, according to Assistant Foreign Minister Jamal Bayyoumi in a statement to the Arabic daily Al Ahram. He added that the pact would also consider the situation of Egyptian expatriates in Europe, and the opening of legitimate immigration for Egyptian workers to EU countries, particularly for “seasonal jobs.” – Albawaba.com
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