Bilateral talks between Vladimir Putin and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi were followed by negotiations in expanded format with the participation of the two nations’ delegations.
The Russian President’s official visit to Egypt resulted in the signing of a number of documents on bilateral cooperation in nuclear energy and investment, witnessed by the two leaders.
After the signing ceremony, Vladimir Putin and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi made statements for the press.
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PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to begin by thanking President el-Sisi for his invitation and the residents of Cairo for their very warm, friendly reception that all the members of the Russian delegation and I have experienced. We all saw your friendly attitude to Russia.
My previous visit to Cairo was 10 years ago, and my colleagues and I are very happy to find ourselves once again in the hospitable land of Egypt.
Despite all the problems Egypt had to overcome in the past years, in our bilateral relations we have managed not only to avoid a slow-down, but even reached new heights in our cooperation.
Today we had very constructive and substantive negotiations with the President; we continued the meaningful exchange on the entire range of Russian-Egyptian relations and key regional and international matters, which we began in Sochi last year.
That was Mr President’s working visit. I hope he will accept my invitation and come to Moscow on an official visit so we could continue our contacts that, in my opinion, are developing positively.
Today we gave priority attention to matters of economic cooperation. I would like to note that in 2014 mutual trade turnover grew by more than 80 percent. Among the key factors of this growth was the intensive development of our cooperation in agriculture.
The export of Russian wheat to Egypt doubled, as did the import to Russia of Egyptian agricultural produce.
Our cooperation in the power industry is developing rapidly. In 2014, Russia supplied to Egypt more than 1.4 million tons of its petroleum products. More than one sixth of all oil production in Egypt is arranged through Russia’s LUKOIL company.
We discussed this today, and Mr President already mentioned our possible cooperation in nuclear power. Here, if the final decision is made, we are talking not only about the construction of a nuclear power station. We are discussing the creation of a new industry in Egypt – the nuclear power industry, which involves the construction of a nuclear power station, personnel training, promotion of science and a whole range of measures that will make it possible to create a new industry in Egypt.
We also see great prospects for our cooperation in space exploration and the joint use of the GLONASS Russian navigation satellite system.
We will focus our efforts on promoting an entire range of investment projects, primarily in such areas as transport infrastructure, engineering and chemical industry.
The instate commission that has resumed its work will be handling all these matters. I would also like to stress the significance of the Memorandum on attracting investment and the Agreement on joint investment projects that were signed during this visit.
We also agreed to expand opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses. Over 400 companies with Russian capital have already been registered and are operating in Egypt. In this connection, we expect that the Russian-Egyptian Business Council that also resumed its work last year will work actively and with initiative.
We consider the humanitarian sphere an important component of our cooperation, namely expanding and promoting tourist, educational and scientific exchange. The Egyptian Russian University continues its successful operation. The number of Russian tourists in Egypt grows every year.
We stated that in 2014 a record number of Russians visited various Egyptian resorts – over three million. This is 50 percent more than in 2013. This, without a doubt, is the result of political stabilisation achieved by President el-Sisi.
We know that tourists do not choose dangerous or risky places to spend their holidays – they choose where it’s safe and calm.
We had a detailed discussion of the situation in the Middle East and the world at large. We agreed to intensify our anti-terrorist efforts. We gave significant attention to ways of resolving the situation in Syria and discussed the situation in the Middle East. I briefed the President on the results of the Moscow meeting between representatives of Syrian opposition and the Assad government.
We expect to see the next round of these talks that would eventually lead, as we hope, to a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Syria.
Russia intends to remain Egypt’s reliable partner and friend. I am certain that today’s visit will give a good impetus to the development of our relations.
Thank you for your attention.