Athens, 29 October 2019. UfM Secretary General, Nasser Kamel, participated today in the 4th EU-Arab World Summit in Athens, held on 29-30 October under the title “A Strategic Partnership”.
Established in 2016, the EU-Arab World Summit is an international forum that promotes economic and political dialogue between the EU and the Arab World. The aim of this is to promote the two regions’ common interests and values, focusing cooperatively on shared priorities to meet regional and global challenges.
Based on the significant success of previous editions, the 4th EU-Arab World Summit focused this year on economic cooperation and investments, especially in the fields of energy, trade, science, technology and healthcare. It was opened by Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of Greece, Nicos Anastasiades, President of the Republic of Cyprus, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary General of the League of Arab States, as well as the Prime Ministers of Serbia, Croatia and Albania, the Deputy Prime Minister of Palestine, the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of Egypt, and former Prime Ministers of France and Italy, Massimo D’Alema and Francois Fillon,
The UfM Secretary General took part of the panel session entitled “An era of realignment: the need for a new European-Arab world approach”. The panel counted with the participation of Miltiades Varvitsiotis, Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece, Carmelo Abela, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion of Malta, Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Qatar, as well as Eurico Brilhante Dias, Secretary of State for Internationalisation of Portugal.
Secretary General Kamel stressed the urgent need of tackling the crises faced in the Euro-Mediterranean region, notably the high levels of youth unemployment, the low regional economic integration, and the climate emergency that threatens the Mediterranean Basin.
“I disagree with the call for a new approach or paradigm for EU-Arab relations,” said Nasser Kamel, UfM Secretary General. “We don’t need to keep reinventing the wheel. We dispose of frameworks and tools, such as the UfM, to develop common responses to the crises we are facing – we need to focus on making a better use of them.”
On the margins of the Summit, Kamel held a bilateral meeting with the Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs, HE Miltiades Varvitsiotis, to discuss the growing cooperation between the Hellenic Republic and the UfM Secretariat, notably in the field of marine environment protection, where Greece has extensive expertise.
The Summit is organized by the pan-Arab conference organizing group Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal in cooperation with Delphi Economic Forum, and with the support of the Greek government, the European Parliament, the League of Arab States and the European Commission.