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China's president to visit Egypt's parliament Thursday

The Chinese president will be welcomed to Egypt's parliament by speaker Ali Abdel-Al and a number of high-profile MPs. Gamal Essam El-Din reports

Gamal Essam El-Din , Wednesday 20 Jan 2016
Sisi and Jinping
A handout picture released by the Egyptian Presidency shows Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R) welcoming Chinese President Xi Jinping upon his arrival at the airport in the capital Cairo (AFP)
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China's President Xi Jinping will be welcomed to Egypt's House of Representatives by speaker Ali Abdel-Al and a number of high-profile MPs on Thursday, according to Sameh Seif El-Yazal, the leader of the majority Support Egypt bloc.

"China's president requested to visit parliament and we are going to open a dialogue with him on Egyptian-Chinese relations," El-Yazal told reporters on Wednesday.

El-Yazal said that this was the first time a leader as high-profile as China's president requested to visit Egypt's parliament.

"A number of world leaders have visited Egypt's parliament, but only upon invitation from their Egyptian counterparts," said El-Yazal.

The last foreign, non-Arab leader to visit Egypt’s parliament was US president Jimmy Carter in 1979, where he recommended that parliament endorse the US-brokered peace treaty between Israel and Egypt.

Some Arab leaders, such as Libyan president Muammar Qaddafi and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, also visited Egypt's parliament on several occasions.

Parliament speaker Abdel-Al disclosed Tuesday that China's president and other leading officials from around the world – including the president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the speaker of the Russian parliament – have requested to visit the newly elected parliament to congratulate Egypt on completing its post-revolution political roadmap.

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