At the invitation of the Egyptian-European Council’s President, Mr. Mouhammad Abou El-Enein, H.E. Ambassador Dr. Mounir Zahran, ECFA Chairman, attended a Business Lunch on Wednesday, the 13th of December 2017, on the occasion of handing over the European Presidency by Estonia to Bulgaria after the expiry of its Presidency Term in December 2017. The lunch was also attended by H.E. Mr. Soon Sander, the Ambassador of Estonia and H.E. Mr. Popov, the Ambassador of Bulgaria.
H.E. the Ambassador of Estonia spoke on a number of topics, including his role in coordinating common positions and exchanging information with European Union (EU) Ambassadors in Cairo. He also spoke on Egypt’s Foreign Minister, H.E Mr. Sameh Shoukry's visit to his country, Estonia, in 2017, noting that he is the first Egyptian Foreign Minister to visit his country since its independence. He also touched on strengthening relations between the two countries.
H.E. the Ambassador of Bulgaria, also spoke during the lunch, saying that Bulgaria’s priorities under its Presidency of the EU would be to enhance EU relations with neighboring States. He also touched on the linkage between the primacy of security and stability in the Mediterranean States and reaching a settlement and reconciliations in Syria, Libya and Iraq.
H.E. Ambassador Mounir Zahran asked about the willingness of the EU to act as Mediator to settle the Middle East Problem in place of the US, whose credibility was lost after President Trump has announced the recognition of AL-QUDS “Jerusalem” as the capital of ‘Israel’, thus defying the resolutions of the international legitimacy. The Ambassadors of Estonia and Bulgaria agreed that they doubt the possibility of the EU acting as Mediator instead of the US, although the EU is a member of the International Quartet, and despite the EU’s Economic Power, which qualifies the EU to assume this role.