'No interference from EU, US and Italy', says Egyptian FM

'Fight against terrorism and security before all', Nabil Fahmy

04 February, 18:31

    Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy

    (by Cristiana Missori) (ANSAmed) - ROME, FEBRUARY 4 - ''Egypt will not accept outside interference in its decisions. Not from the US, not from Europe, and certainly not from Italy. I have been very clear on this point with Rome: we will not back down''.

    Decisive words spoken by Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy, who chose the Italian capital as the first stop of a European tour that will take him to Germany and Holland in the next few hours. On his agenda he had meetings with his Italian counterpart Emma Bonino and Defense Minister Mario Mauro, House and Senate foreign affairs committee chairmen Fabrizio Cicchitto and Pierferdinando Casini, and Economic Development Minister Flavio Zanonato.

    As the 48-hour visit draws to a close, he reaps the first economic reward, ''setting cooperation in motion, both in the commercial sector and in the private investment sector''. He finds ''much more understanding of the Egyptian situation and a greater recognition of the great difficulties our country is going through, from the Italian government as well as politicians and the investor community'', Fahmy told ANSAmed in an interview.

    Cairo continues on its slow democratic path, determined to follow through on its road map. The head of Egyptian diplomacy speaks frankly, saying he has been ''very clear'' with his Italian interlocutors in terms of the fight against terrorism. ''We will not backtrack because security comes before everything else'', he reiterates. ''Europe and the US must understand that their security depends on ours. Their success depends on our success''.

    The Mediterranean, he adds, ''is a small sea, and terrorism knows no borders''.

    With regards to relations with Washington and its decision in mid-January to restore yearly aid of 1.5 billion dollars to Cairo, which had been partially suspended after the deposition of former president Mohamed Morsi in July, he professes himself not at all surprised.

    ''It is in the interests of the United States to have good relations with Egypt'', he warned. Things have improved on the bilateral relations front.''There is a willingness on our part and also on the part of the US to move on, because it is in the interests of both countries to overcome the conflicted relations we had recently''.

    Egypt has changed, and the Arab world has changed with it, Fahmy concludes. ''And this must be recognized''. (ANSAmed).

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