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EU and Egypt agree €7.4bn deal focused on energy, migration

The EU chief and five European leaders visited cash-strapped Egypt on Sunday to announce a 7.4-billion-euro financial package focused on boosting energy trade and stemming irregular migrant flows to the 27-member bloc.

The deal will include billions in credit over coming years for highly indebted Egypt, and stepping up energy sales that could help Europe "move further away from Russian gas", said a senior European Commission official.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen -- who was joined by the leaders of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Greece and Italy -- met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ahead of the scheduled signing ceremony.

The Strategic and Comprehensive Partnership agreement includes five billion euros in loans over four years, 1.8 billion euros in investment and hundreds of millions for bilateral projects including on migration, the official said on condition of anonymity.

Egypt is mired in a painful economic crisis, borders war-battered Libya and the centre of two ongoing conflicts -- the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip and Sudan's war between the regular armed forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

Egypt already hosts around nine million migrants and refugees, including four million Sudanese and 1.5 million Syrians, according to the UN's International Organization for Migration.

(AFP)


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