Sisi and Putin celebrate stronger ties between Russia and Egypt
Courtesy: Reuters
 

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said in a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin that Egypt and Russia’s relationship has recently been taking great steps forward.

Sisi added that the future carries great opportunities for both countries in light of the launch of the New Suez Canal bypass.

Putin stated at the press conference that there were strong mutual ties between the two countries. He emphasized that Egypt is the biggest importer of Russian wheat, with four million tons exported to Egypt every year, amounting to 40 percent of Egypt’s total wheat consumption.

“We plan to increase wheat exports and we discussed the possibility of Russian participation in wheat production in Egypt,” Putin said.

He continued that 3.5 million Russian tourists visited Egypt this year.

One of the major projects that Russia is intending to establish in Egypt is a new free industrial zone in the area surrounding the Suez Canal as part of efforts towards mutual economic cooperation between the two countries.

Sisi also added that Egypt is also hoping to benefit from Russian experience in the peaceful use of nuclear energy, as well as fostering military cooperation to face mounting threats from “terrorist groups.”

Presidential spokesperson Alaa Youssef said in a statement that Sisi asserted Egypt’s interest in strengthening trade and economic relations with Russia. Sisi explained that Russia has unique industrial experience and major resources that contribute to it being among Egypt’s most important trade partners.

The Egyptian president added that Russian ministers have expressed their interest in increasing Russian investments in Egypt in all fields, including development projects along the Suez Canal. He also stated they are interested in establishing an international logistics center to circulate and store food commodities.

Sisi also met Sergey Naryshkin, the chairman of the Russian state parliament (Duma,) on Tuesday afternoon. The meeting was held at the headquarters of the Duma to discuss inter-parliamentary cooperation between Egypt and Russia. Sisi stated Egypt’s parliamentary elections will be held before the end of the year.

This is Sisi’s third visit to Russia since he was inaugurated, and his fourth since the ouster of former President Mohammed Morsi on July 3, 2013.

During a visit Putin made earlier this year, Egypt and Russia agreed to establish a free trade zone between Egypt and the Eurasian Economic Union.

Sisi also met with Jordan’s King Abdullah ll earlier on Wednesday, who is in Moscow for a work visit and to attend the opening of international aviation and space salon. The two leaders contined Egypt and Jordan’s ongoing discussions on how to address a variety of regional issues.

Youssef said in a statement that the Sisi appreciated Jordan’s support of Egypt and that both Abdullah and Sisi agreed on the need to strongly counter threats of terrorism.

Abdullah and Sisi also discussed Syria, agreeing that a political solution should be reached in that would provide peace to Syrians. Both Putin and Sisi stressed the need to find a political solution to the conflict in Syria during the press conference. 

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