Russian FM visits Egypt for its first African tour since the Ukraine conflict

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Cairo, where they discussed bilateral relations and regional and global issues of common concern.

Lavrov handed Sisi a letter from Russian President Vladimir Putin, expressing the importance that Russia attaches to the consolidation of bilateral relations with Egypt within the framework of the “strategic partnership and cooperation agreement between the two countries”. , reported the Xinhua news agency, citing a statement from the Egyptian presidency.

The Egyptian president praised the growing cooperation between Cairo and Moscow, illustrated by Russian projects in Egypt, such as the El-Dabaa nuclear power plant under construction, and the creation of a Russian industrial zone on the axis of the Suez Canal and other joint projects in various fields.

Regarding the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian conflict, Egypt renewed its call for a political settlement of the crisis.

Sisi stressed “the importance of prioritizing the language of dialogue and diplomatic solutions to the crisis”, affirming Egypt’s support for all efforts that would settle the issue “politically” in order to maintain security and stability international.

This is Lavrov’s first African tour since the Russian-Ukrainian conflict began in late February. The tour is expected to include Ethiopia, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

After his talks with Sisi, Lavrov held a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry at the headquarters of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry in Cairo.

The senior Russian diplomat said he had “constructive dialogue” with the Egyptian president and later with his Egyptian counterpart, expressing Russia’s appreciation for the rapidly growing relationship between the two countries.

Speaking at a joint press conference after his meeting with Shukry, Lavrov hailed the expansion of economic cooperation and growth in trade volume between Russia and Egypt.

He added that Russia and Egypt share views on many regional and global issues, including the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the crises in Syria, Libya and Iraq.

As for the global food shortage resulting from the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, Lavrov blamed Western sanctions for hampering Russian grain exports, noting that Russia and Ukraine recently signed an agreement to help ease the food crisis. through safe corridors in the Black Sea for grain exports. .

Lavrov noted that his Africa tour is also aimed at discussing preparations for the second Russia-Africa summit scheduled for mid-2023.

For his part, the Egyptian Foreign Minister reiterated the need to reach “a political and diplomatic settlement” of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis.

Shoukry added that he had discussed with Lavrov the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and that they both agreed on the need for the two-state solution as a settlement of the issue.

Ahmed Kandil, head of the international studies unit at the Cairo-based Al-Ahram Center for Policy and Strategic Studies, said the timing of Lavrov’s Africa tour is very important as it comes after two recent important meetings, one in Jeddah attended by leaders. of the United States and the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), plus Egypt, Jordan and Iraq, and the other in Tehran bringing together the leaders of Russia, Iran and the Turkey.

“Lavrov’s planned visit to Ethiopia after Egypt could be a message from Moscow that Russia can play an important role in solving the region’s problems, the main one being the crisis of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam ( GERD),” the Egyptian expert told Xinhua, referring to the dispute between Cairo and Addis Ababa over the rules for filling and operating the dam built on their common Nile.

Lavrov is due to travel to the Cairo-based Arab League (AL) headquarters later today to meet with League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit and address the permanent representatives of Arab states to the league.



(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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