President Novák discusses illegal migration and importance of peace with el-Sisi

The two heads of state reviewed their diplomatic activities and agreements of recent years and discussed topical issues pertaining to the future.

President Katalin Novák discussed illegal migration, the importance of peace and economic issues, among other topics, with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Cairo on Monday.

Tamás Schanda, the Sandor Palace’s cabinet chief, told public media that the two heads of state reviewed their diplomatic activities and agreements of recent years and discussed topical issues pertaining to the future. Concerning illegal migration, Schanda noted that Egypt was a key player in the region, adding that Hungary and the whole of the European Union counted on the North African country to keep illegal migration at bay. Novák and el-Sisi, who talked behind closed doors for over an hour and a half, also touched on the situation in the war zones in their countries’ neighbourhoods. They were in agreement that both of their countries had a vested interest in stability and peace in their regions. As regards economic ties, Schanda noted that Hungarian businesses were present on the Egyptian market and that Hungary had fulfilled an “unprecedented” order of rolling stock by Egypt. Hungary is confident that it will be able to export more transport vehicles to Egypt in the future, he added. Egypt, he said, was a strategic partner of Hungary, calling it a key player in the region with a decisive say in attempting to implement solutions in crisis zones. Hungary and Egypt were also each other’s natural allies and were bound by their strategic thinking as well as the joint projects and achievements of recent years, he added. Both presidents and countries considered traditional values like family important, the cabinet chief said, adding that Novák and el-Sisi had also discussed the Stipendium Peregrinum scholarship scheme for Hungarian students who have applied to the world’s best universities. According to a statement on the Egyptian presidency’s website, Novák expressed appreciation for Egypt’s role in safeguarding stability and peace in the Middle East. The two heads of state were in agreement on the need to condemn the targeting of all civilians, reject forced displacement and prevent the expansion of the conflict in the region. Concerning the Russia-Ukraine war, Novák and Sisi were in agreement on the importance of robust international action to resolve the crisis. Regarding developments in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, President el-Sisi underlined the importance of reaching a lasting ceasefire and ensuring humanitarian assistance, adding that the conflict must not spill over into the West Bank. The region’s stability and security were closely linked to the international recognition of the Palestinian state, along the borders of June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem as the capital, he said. During her official visit to Egypt, Novák also held talks with Speaker of the Egyptian House of Representatives Hanafy Gebaly. On Tuesday, she will meet Pope Tawadros II, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, and on Friday she will address the United Nations COP28 climate summit.