EU raises financial aid to Egypt to 600M Euro
EU Foreign Affairs High Representative Catherine Ashton - AFP

CAIRO: The European Union has raised the ceiling for financial aid to Egypt from 450 million euros to 600 million euros ($569 million to $759,) which came during current talks to endorse the aid budget for the upcoming three years, a senior government official told Al-Masry Al-Youm Monday.

The secretary-general of the Egyptian-European Partnership Unit at the Ministry of International Cooperation, Ambassador Gamal Bayoumi, told the newspaper that the EU agreed to increase the value of its aid to Egypt, starting from 2014 until 2016, while approving a new payment system.

“The aid may be raised above 600 million euros and could reach 660 million euros,” Bayoumi said.

He added that the new aid would be paid in a lump sum for the first time since the Egyptian European partnership was endorsed in the 1990s.

The parliament should approve each project financed from this aid, but since the elections have not yet been conducted, the new parliament will endorse the total projects, said the official.

On Sunday, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Catherine Ashton, on the sidelines of the Cairo Gaza Reconstruction Conference.

Ashton stressed the importance of bilateral relations between the two parties, expressing her desire that the coming period would witness the development of relations between the two sides in various fields, including economic, investment, commercial and political areas, Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Badr Abdel Atty said in a Monday statement.

“Minister Shoukry stressed Egypt’s interest to strengthen relations with the European Union on the basis of mutual respect and common interests, while taking into account the particularity of the Egyptian case, thus achieving the aspirations of the Egyptian people,” Abdel Atty stated.

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