CAIRO, Sept. 17 — Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said on Sunday that Egypt has not recorded a single case of illegal immigration from its territories since 2016.
Sisi’s comments came during his meeting with visiting President of the European Union Council Donald Tusk and the Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz, the Egyptian Presidency said in a statement.
Sisi reviewed Egypt’s efforts in combating illegal immigration and securing its land and sea borders amid instability in neighboring countries, the presidency said.
Sisi and his guests also discussed the latest developments in the Middle East especially in Libya and Syria, the statement said, adding that they all agreed that political settlements can put an end to fighting as well as illegal immigration.
Egypt used to be a favored destination for illegal immigrants, who try to cross Egyptian territories to neighboring Libya on their way to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea, driven by difficult economic conditions back home.
In October 2016, the Egyptian parliament voted for a cabinet bill combating illegal immigration and human smuggling. The 34-article bill stipulates a penalty of between 50,000 Egyptian pounds (2,789 U.S. dollars) and 200,000 pounds, or a prison sentence.