Sisi, Putin sign comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement in Sochi

Ahram Online , Wednesday 17 Oct 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi shake hands during a signing ceremony following their meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia October 17, 2018 REUTERS

During a bilateral summit in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi signed a comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement, which both leaders described as significant for enhancing cooperation between the two countries during the upcoming period.

The meeting between the two leaders marked their third official bilateral summit since the Egyptian president assumed office in 2014.

The summit witnessed the signing of a number of mutual cooperation agreements involving trade and industry as well as a discussion on the resumption of Russian flights to the Red Sea resorts of Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh. 

“We are satisfied with Egypt’s efforts on this issue and are working closely to resume flights to Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh soon," Putin said at the summit.

The Russian president also highlighted the significance of the decades-long military cooperation between Egypt and Russia.

The talks touched on several regional and international issues.

On Syria, Putin affirmed that he is working closely with his Egyptian counterpart to aid efforts to reach a political solution and rebuild the war torn country. 

"I informed president El-Sisi about Russia’s steps regarding this issue, especially concerning Russian agreements with Turkey on Idlib," Putin said.

"We agreed to continue our fruitful cooperation in this issue during the upcoming period,” he added.

On Libya, the Russian president affirmed that the strategic partnership between Egypt and Russia helps maintain safety and stability in the Middle East and North Africa.

"Russia and Egypt will continue coordinating efforts to reach a solution to the crisis in Libya," Putin added.

The Russian president also expressed hope that Egypt's chairmanship of the African Union can open up new horizons for cooperation between Russia and African nations. 

"The signing of the strategic partnership agreement marks a shift in relations between the two countries," El-Sisi said.

El-Sisi noted the signing of the agreement crowns the rapidly developing relations between the two countries, especially over the last four years. 

"This momentum has been crowned by the start of work on the Dabaa nuclear power plant in December 2017, with Russia providing funding and technical expertise,” the Egyptian president said.

El-Sisi also referred to the Russian Industrial Zone project in East Port Said, saying it ushers in a leap in economic relations from trade exchange to industrial cooperation.

El-Sisi also said that the marking of 2020 as a year of cultural exchange between Egypt and Russia reflects the cultural communication between both countries.

El-Sisi said that he and Putin strongly agree on regional issues, particularly on the necessity of reaching a comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue based on a two-state solution along the 1967 borders, the provisions of international law, as well as the Arab peace initiative.

Regarding Libya, the talks touched on the political and security developments in the country. 

El-Sisi said he briefed his Russian counterpart on Egypt's vision on reaching a political solution in Libya and the efforts exerted by Cairo to unify the Libyan military establishment and enable it to carry out its duties efficiently.

"We stressed the importance of the international community's commitment to the full implementation of the initiative of UN envoy Ghassan Salama, involving all elements of the Libyan issue," El-Sisi affirmed.

On counterterrorism, El-Sisi said he and Putin agreed on the importance of exchanging information between security bodies, especially with regards to the transit of terrorists from areas of instability to other states.

“We stressed the need to prevent the movement of terrorists to other territories," El-Sisi said.

The president also said that he briefed his Russian counterpart on the latest results of operation Sinai 2018 and Egypt's efforts to counter terrorism. 

The Egyptian president also offered condolences to the Russian president, people and government over the victims of the shooting at a Crimea college, which took place earlier on Wednesday and killed 19 people.

El-Sisi arrived in Moscow on Monday for his second official visit to Russia since he assumed office in 2014.

Ahead of flying to Sochi, El-Sisi met with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow, where they discussed trade, investment, tourism and other issues of mutual concern.

On Tuesday, the Egyptian president addressed the Russian Federation Council on a range of bilateral and regional issues.

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