Arab and European leaders met on Sunday in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh for the first EU-Arab summit under the slogan “Investing in Stability”.
The two-day meeting was chaired by the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi along with the European Council President Donald Tusk.
The summit was attended by at least 40 heads of state including 24 European leaders.
The gathering came while the Middle East faces growing challenges due to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the Yemeni war, in addition to the Syrian refugees crisis.
The EU countries viewed the summit as a good opportunity to reach a new deal with Arab countries, mainly those that surround the Mediterranean Sea to prevent illegal immigration to Europe.
The Egyptian President gave his European guests assurances to block refugees and migrants from leaving Libya for Europe, and promised greater security and protection to European tourists.
The EU leaders, in return, gave promises to promote Egyptian tourism and to avoid human rights criticisms of the Egyptian regime in future statements.
The meeting was held only few days after nine political prisoners were executed in Egypt after trials marred by claims of torture.