The European Union’s Special Representative for the Southern Mediterranean region, Bernardino León, met with members of political parties and government officials on Wednesday as part of his visit to Egypt. In his meetings León spoke about the current economic and political situation in Egypt.
According to Rasha Serry, the European Union Delegation to Egypt’s press officer, León’s one-day visit is in preparation for a visit from the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, next week.
Serry said León held talks with several officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the presidency, although he was not meeting with President Mohamed Morsi himself.
León also met with Ahmed Said, Chairman of the Free Egyptians Party, as well as the head of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party Mohamed Aboul Ghar and Amr Moussa, head of the Conference Party.
According to the state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram, León called on the political forces to hold dialogue among the various factions, including the government, in order to pull Egypt out of the current crisis. Ahram also reported León discussed the repatriation of funds from the former regime stored in European banks, although according to Amr Moussa’s spokesperson, Ahmed Salah Kamel, their meeting focused largely on Egypt’s economic crisis.
“They talked mostly about the economic situation Egypt is currently facing, and the role of the European Union in supporting Egypt,” Salah Kamel said. “They also spoke about the [International Monetary Fund] loan, what its prospects are and how far along it has come,” he added.
Salah said León was worried about the current political standoff between opposition groups and the government, but no specific details were provided regarding their meeting.
Ashton is set to continue the conversations next week when she visits Cairo.