On behalf of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, its Executive Directorate (CTED) conducted a three-day follow-up visit to the Arab Republic of Egypt from 18 to 20 July 2017 to discuss Egypt’s progress in implementing Security Council resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005), as well as resolution 2178 (2014) on stemming the flow of foreign terrorist fighters. The discussions also touched upon the implementation of the most recent Security Council resolutions on counter-terrorism, including resolutions 2242 (2015), 2309 (2016), 2322 (2016), 2331 (2016), 2341 (2017), and 2354 (2017).
Throughout the high-level expert meetings, discussions on progress achieved by Egypt in implementing the Committee’s recommendations, based on its previous visit, focused in particular on the legal and criminal justice system, law enforcement, border management, anti-money-laundering and counter-financing of terrorism (AML/CFT), international cooperation, as well as measures aimed at countering violent extremism (CVE). The delegation also conducted three site visits to Cairo International Airport, Al-Azhar Observatory, and the Police Academy.
Egypt reaffirmed its strong commitment to countering terrorism in all its aspects, including foreign terrorist fighters and returnees; the links between terrorism and transnational organized crime, including illegal trafficking of drugs, arms, and humans; and abuse of the Internet and social media for terrorist purposes.
The delegation welcomed Egypt’s continuing efforts to strengthen the coordination of its counter-terrorism efforts, including through the National Council for Countering Terrorism and Extremism, which was formally established on 26 July 2017, less than a week after the visit. Among other important functions, the Council is tasked with developing a comprehensive national strategy to counter terrorism and extremism. The authorities expect this strategy – which aims in particular to involve the whole society and address all possible drivers of extremism conducive to terrorism – to be enacted within the next six months.
The need to enhance the effectiveness of international cooperation in terrorism-related mattes was a cornerstone in most discussions during the visit. Egypt has expressed its firm determination in enforcing the existing mechanisms for international cooperation and its keen interest in supporting the UN in relevant initiatives in this regard, as well as in exchanging experience and good practices related to countering terrorism and extremism with other Member State within and beyond the region.
The delegation was further briefed extensively on Egypt’s initiatives aimed at countering terrorist propaganda that abuses and misinterprets religious concepts.
In addition to CTED experts, the delegation included representatives of ICAO, INTERPOL, IOM, UNODC, WCO, UN Women, and MENAFATF. The initial assessment visit to Egypt took place in October 2008.