Visit to ECFA by the Ambassador of Portugal to Egypt
On November 29, 2021, the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs hosted Ms. Manuela Franco, the Portuguese ambassador to Egypt, to talk about Egypt-Portugal relations, and her country’s position on regional and international issues of common interest. The meeting was opened by Ambassador Dr. Mounir Zahran, ECFA Chairman, and attended by ambassadors, Dr. Ezzat Saad, ECFA Director, Abdel Rahman Salah, Adel Al-Salousi, and Gilan Allam, as well as a number of researchers interested in European affairs.
On her part, Ambassador Franco mentioned a historical overview of Portugal, and that its geographic location was one of the important elements in influencing the developments of its situation historically. Although it is a reason for its invasion and occupation historically, it has enabled the country to get acquainted with various cultures, and gave it the ability to promoting coexistence among the different communities within it. In a related context, she explained that her country’s foreign policy often contributes to determining the Portuguese diaspora abroad, and the need to always take care of its interests in other countries, bearing in mind that Portugal’s foreign policy has become largely governed by the foreign policy of the European Union as a whole, as it is an EU member state, which places some restrictions on the independence of its diplomatic options.
On the other hand, the Ambassador pointed out that the Portugal-Egypt relations are close and show a positive and advanced trend, and it is intended to establish a private Portuguese university in Egypt, in the framework of the memorandum of understanding signed between Egypt and Portugal; with the aim of studying the establishment of branches of Portuguese universities in Egypt, in addition to achieving bilateral cooperation in areas of scientific research of common interest, as well as the exchange of recognition of academic and scientific degrees. This would enable a closer familiarity with the Portuguese culture, as well as the promotion of Portuguese tourism to Egypt. She added that the positions of the two countries are also very similar on many regional and international issues, which must be built upon to strengthen the two countries’ bilateral and international relations.