CAIRO – President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi delivered on Tuesday a speech before the upper house of the Federal Assembly of Russia, the Federation Council, becoming the first foreign leader to do so. The speech highlighted former and future joint achievements in the history of Egyptian-Russian relations.
The following is part of the speech:
The close relations between Egypt and Russia we celebrate the 75th anniversary of which today have always been characterized by depth and uniqueness. That has ultimately emerged in time of crisis and hardships. Russia, as state and people, have always been the first to give a hand to Egypt to recover the occupied land. Egypt will never forget Russia’s contribution in reconstruction and rebuilding when it helped in building the High Dam and other major projects during a pivotal period in its modern history. Those supportive historic stances will always be imprinted on the mind and spirit of Egyptians. That valuable legacy of joint cooperation will remain at a very high level of appreciation by Egyptians. The momentum gained by all fields of cooperation between Egypt and Russia throughout the past five years is the best indicator for the depth and firmness of our relations. That was mirrored to the level of continuous coordination and deliberation between the officials of both countries and to the launching of the strategic dialogue between Egypt and Russia. That is in addition to the unprecedented growth rates of trade between them and that will continue to rise. Furthermore, I aspire that a giant project finishes in the coming years. That project is building the Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant. I am certain it will be another milestone in the cooperation journey of both countries and an icon in our extended partnership. I similarly view the Russian economic zone project eastern Suez Canal as another epitome of our partnership and a new take-off point to boost Russian investments in Egypt. We always look forward to your expertise and investments – within the integration framework between us – to contribute in the achievement of giant projects launched in Egypt.
The president asserted that terrorism poses a threat to the concept of nation state highlighting Egyptians’ success over the past five years to restore security and stability preventing chaos and preserving their state institutions.
Sisi said that the Egyptian people capitalized on its established civilization to “impose its willpower, save its identity, make great leaps forward with women and youth empowerment, and pursue bald economic reforms.”
The president described the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as “the oldest and most complicated crises in modern history” saying that the international community has failed to find a solution.
Sisi added that the “Arab region” faces crises that trigger sectarian conflicts saying that has caused new dangers and posed new challenges.
The president stressed the importance of “pushing the UN-sponsored political process in Syria by commencing the work of the constitution committee as a first step to resume negotiations and end the Syrian crises in a way that preserves the country’s unity and its institutions as well as fulfills its people’s ambitions.”
Sisi put forward the same view on Libya asserting that should be “in parallel to the unification of the Libyan military institution” for it to defend the country and deter terrorism saying that is “the path in which Egypt plays a central role.”
The president had earlier laid a wreath on the tomb of the unknown soldier in Red Square in Moscow. Sisi was received by Russia’s Federal Council’s Chairwoman Valentina Matviyenko. He wrote at the book of guests in Arabic:
It is a pleasure to visit the Russian Federal Council which plays a prominent role in enriching Russia’s political arena. I would like to affirm my keenness to boost the friendship bonds between Egyptian and Russian peoples, so both countries will upgrade the mutual cooperation in the coming stage to include all fields such as improving communication development and interaction between the two countries’ parliaments.
Putin will hold Tuesday evening informal talks with his Egyptian counterpart to discuss the implementation of joint projects between the two countries, according to Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
In his statements quoted by the Russian news agency Tass, Peskov referred that Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will attend the talks. He stressed that the talks have a very effective format, allowing the two presidents to discuss the most pressing issues prior to the official talks.
In the same context, the Russian government’s press service pointed out that Russian Prime Minister Medvedev and Sisi will discuss ways to develop the bilateral trade and economic cooperation with an emphasis on large-scale joint projects in energy, industry and agriculture.
The formal talks between President Sisi and Putin are scheduled to be held on Wednesday to highlight ways to expand Egyptian Russian cooperation and exchange views on issues of major international agenda, according to Tass. Furthermore, joint documents are expected to be signed after the talks.
Putin and Sisi will discuss the resumption of direct charter flights from Russia to Egyptian Red Sea resorts during their meeting, Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov told press, according to Reuters.
President Sisi has arrived in Sochi for a formal meeting with Putin on Wednesday. Sisi headed to Moscow on Monday on a three-day visit to Russia to hold talks with President Putin.
During the visit, Putin issued a decree approving to sign a comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation agreement with Egypt to include all levels.
The decree consists of endorsing proposals on the agreement by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that are set in collaboration with executive authority institutions. The decree was published on the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI).
On December 11, 2017, Putin visited Egypt for the second time since Sisi was sworn into office in May 2014; the visit came upon President Sisi’s invitation in September 2017.
In February 2015, the Russian president visited Egypt and attended the signature of a number of deals between Cairo and Moscow.