The leaders of the European Union and the Arab League met Sunday in Sharm el-Sheikh, eastern Egypt, to put in place strategies to protect their diplomatic, economic and security interests traditional.

The two-day summit – attended by the leaders of nearly 40 countries on both sides – is seen by both sides as a way to protect their traditional diplomatic, economic and security interests, which are now weakened by internal divisions and regional problems, including the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Gulf crisis, regional wars and Brexit.

The issue of migration, at the heart of the relationship between the two blocs, was also addressed by Donald Tusk who called for close collaboration.

“We do not want to see this void (left by the United States, ed) absorbed by Russia and China”.

“Today, we are here to strengthen our cooperation for the benefit of our peoples. We must do this together and not leave it to world powers far from our region, “said European Council President Donald Tusk in his opening address on Sunday, in an allusion to China and Russia.

The summit comes at a time when the United States is disengaging from the region, unlike Russia and China, which is “not necessarily in our interest,” assured an EU source.

The host of the summit, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi said that immigration is “not a challenge” but a “promising area of ​​cooperation between our countries”.

“The danger of hate terrorism is spreading around the world (…) and today we need more than ever to stand together against this danger,” he said.

On the second and final day of the summit on Monday, the focus was particularly on regional issues including Yemen, Libya, Syria or the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.