News Analysis: Terrorism, illegal migration to top EU-AL summit: experts

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-24 20:19:50|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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SHARM EL SHEIKH, Egypt, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian political experts believe that the issues of terrorism and illegal migration are among the most important issues on the European Union (EU)-Arab League (AL) summit which will kick off Sunday evening in Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh city.

The summit, scheduled on Feb. 24-25, will bring together for the first time heads of states and governments from both sides.

The EU President Donald Tusk will co-chair the meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Jihan Jado, an expert of European Affairs and member of the local council of Versailles, France, said the problem of refugees and illegal migration is one of the most important topics to be discussed at this summit.

"This issue worries the Europeans and costs the Europeans many economic, political and security burdens," she told Xinhua.

During the summit, the leaders will also discuss the issue of securing the European continent from the threat of terrorism and controlling terrorists whose threats extend from the Arab region to the European countries.

"The two sides will also discuss the measures that can be taken against some crises, especially in Libya, which is receiving great attention from both sides," she said.

"Egypt, France and Italy also pay great attention to the reconstruction of Arab countries affected by the Arab Spring such as Libya and Syria," she added.

The professor added that one of the topics of the summit is the theme of "investing for stability," where Europe seeks to support stability in the Arab region, especially the countries in crisis.

"Europe aims to inject large investments in these countries. The European continent would prefer to see the Arab region in security and stability, so trade exchange and investments that benefit both sides can keep going and growing," she noted.

"I expect that this summit will produce very important results to determine the priorities of cooperation between the two sides and coordinate positions on many issues, especially in international arenas," the expert said.

She added that the summit will also help both sides take the necessary measures to control the hot spots in the Arab countries, namely in Libya, Syria and Yemen.

"I also believe that a unified vision will be announced by both sides towards Iran, as many Arab and European countries view Iran as an imminent threat to both the European continent and the Arab region," Jado told Xinhua.

Meanwhile, Hani al-Gamal, director of al-Kenana Center for Political and Strategic Studies, said there are several important issues on the agenda of the first EU-AL summit.

One of these topics is developing the bilateral relations between the two sides, especially in the economic aspect in an attempt to reduce dependence on the United States, al-Gamal said.

"The issue of illegal immigration from the south of the Mediterranean, which worries the European side, especially amid the deteriorating security conditions in Libya and Syria, will also be discussed," he pointed out.

"Fighting terrorism is an issue of common interest for both sides, especially after the series of bombings that rocked different European cities over the past few years and months," the expert told Xinhua.

Al-Gamal said that the Arab countries also need the Europe support to solve the Palestinian, Syrian and Libyan issues through Europe's backing of Arab solutions on the international level.

"I believe that positive results that will emerge from the summit...we will see more security and intelligence understandings, as well as a common vision between the two sides, especially with regard to American, Iranian and Turkish interventions in Arab affairs," the expert said.

Both sides will also cooperate in the elimination the terrorist groups that are settled in many Arab countries, he added.

Al-Gamal said that points of disagreement on the issue of refugees depend on the rise of the extreme right in Europe, which might be an obstacle to implement the mechanisms of the expected results at the summit.