Wednesday,18 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1310, (1 - 7 September 2016)
Wednesday,18 October, 2017
Issue 1310, (1 - 7 September 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Argentinian support

Argentinian Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra, a candidate for the post of UN secretary-general, emphasised that Egypt was a safe place for foreign visitors on her visit to Egypt this week, reports Mai Samih

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Al-Ahram Weekly

“My presence in Cairo over the last three days has shown me that there are a lot of untruths around concerning tourists visiting Cairo. There is security in the streets, which are safe and quiet. People walk about safely,” said the Argentinian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Susana Malcorra, at a press conference in Cairo on 25 August.

“I will work on spreading this image to other countries as Egypt is a great country with a great history. This is a very suitable time for tourists to come to Egypt. I will tell Argentineans to visit Egypt’s museums and mosques. The correct image of Egypt must also be conveyed to other countries,” she said.

Malcorra was in Cairo for a three-day visit in which she met her Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukri, and Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Abul-Gheit as part of a bid to garner Egyptian and Arab support for her candidacy for UN secretary-general, according to the Middle East News Agency.

“Susana Malcorra expressed her wish that Egypt would support her bid for the position of UN secretary-general. She also said that she was looking forward to organising a joint Argentinean-Egyptian economic committee to enhance co-operation in the fields of trade and agriculture,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said.

“Egypt and Argentina have been co-operating for 70 years. Next year Egypt and Argentina will celebrate the 70th anniversary of bilateral relations. We have a long history of economic, cultural, and agricultural co-operation,” Malcorra commented.

She said her priorities if elected UN secretary-general would be the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, peace and security, and human rights.

“Argentina has been clear that there is a need to reflect all the states in the world in the UN Security Council. One of the shortcomings of the Security Council today is the lack of a permanent seat for Africa,” Malcorra said, adding that the views of African nations should be especially respected in combating violence.

 “Violent extremism is something that is spreading in the world and in the region. We as Argentineans suffered many years ago from this phenomenon. So this is not a recent phenomenon, but it now has become much stronger... What I think is clear is that there is an overall lack of understanding of it. I think we still do not know what the root causes of this phenomenon are,” she said.

 “Many of us thought it was linked to the lack of opportunity, to the lack of equal access to good jobs, to development, but we have started to see more and more that many of those involved are not from groups that are left behind. I think that what the UN can help with is to bring a better understanding of this phenomenon,” she said.

 “It is wrong to think that religion is linked to acts of violence. When we look at it from the religious perspective, we find that religions are totally against the way these people are behaving,” she said, adding that work must be done to reclaim the minds and territories taken by groups promoting violence.

Malcorra was former chef de cabinet to the UN secretary-general, former head of the UN Department of Field Support, and former CEO of the UN World Food Programme.

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