The meeting was held in light of the keenness of both Egypt and Romania to diversify and secure their energy sources, especially amid the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the consequent global challenges, Presidential Spokesman Ahmed Fahmy said in a statement.
For his part, Ciuca expressed aspiration to develop and enhance Romania’s relations with Egypt in all fields, especially economic and commercial relations.
The Romanian premier also affirmed keenness on exchanging expertise between the two countries and encouraging their joint investments in the sectors with a competitive advantage in each of Egypt and Romania.
El-Sisi and Ciuca agreed on the importance of holding the next round of the Egyptian-Romanian joint committee at the earliest opportunity.
Ciuca highlighted Romania’s keenness to continue coordination and consultations with Cairo in light of Egypt's pivotal role in achieving stability and security in the Middle East and Africa.
The president, who cited relations between the two countries that go back 117 years, discussed a number of regional issues with Ciuca, most importantly the Palestinian cause and the Egyptian efforts to achieve calm between the Israelis and Palestinians.
They agreed on the importance of intensifying efforts to find a fair and comprehensive solution to the conflict in accordance with the international legitimacy resolutions, the spokesman said.
The leaders also discussed the developments of the Russia-Ukraine crisis and its political, economic, and humanitarian repercussions globally.
El-Sisi expressed Egypt’s appreciation of Romania for receiving Egyptian students who were forced to leave Ukraine amid the crisis, and for facilitating their return to Egypt.
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Trade and Industry Ahmed Samir, as well as Romanian Minister of Economy Florin Spătaru, and Romania’s Ambassador to Cairo Mihai Stuparu attended the meeting.
Romanian-Egyptian Business Forum
Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Ciuca launched today the Romanian-Egyptian Business Forum with the participation of major companies from both sides and also witnessed the signing of a number of MoUs in different fields, including natural gas, technology research, and youth activities.
During the launch, Madbouly said 101 Romanian companies operate in various sectors in Egypt, including tourism, finance and industry, as well as other services.
Trade exchange between Egypt and Romania has also hit $1.1 billion, the Egyptian premier said, adding that Romanian direct foreign investments in Egypt have amounted to $104 million by April 2022.
Representatives of 61 prominent Egyptian and Romanian companies specialised in natural gas, textiles, renewable energy, contracting and construction, medical equipment and supplies, furniture and other fields attended the launch.
Madbouly and Ciuca witnessed the signing of an MoU in natural gas between state-owned Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) and Romanian state-owned gas company Transgaz.
Minister of Petroleum Tarek El-Molla said the MoU paves the way towards further Egyptian-Romanian cooperation in the fields of petroleum, training, and capacity building, a Cabinet statement read.
He added that Egypt will benefit from the expertise of the Romanian institutions and academies in this regard.
The two countries also signed an MoU on cooperation in technology and scientific research to enhance cooperation in the field of exchanging information, skills and researchers, and to support joint research activities in the field of science and technology between Egypt and Romania.
During his Cairo visit, Ciuca and his accompanying delegation also toured the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation.
Egypt and Romania have shared firm relations in all fields over the past decades, especially in energy, investment, industry, trade, and tourism.
The two countries have also maintained coordination on regional and international issues of mutual concern, especially the Libyan crisis and the Palestinian cause.
Romania has been a major wheat supplier to Egypt, which relies on wheat imports as well as local wheat supply to produce bread, a main staple of the Egyptian diet.
Egypt has bought hundreds of tons of wheat from Romania since the Russia-Ukraine crisis broke out in February 2022. The crisis has affected Egypt’s wheat imports as it used to get 80 percent of its imported wheat from the two conflicting countries.
"We will exert our utmost efforts to avoid a food crisis, and we will seize every opportunity to secure all Egyptian needs and make up for any shortages," the Romanian premier said in a joint news briefing with Madbouly yesterday.
Over the past few years, Egypt and Romania have expressed keenness on enhancing cooperation in the renewable energy field, including wind and solar energy.
Romania will also benefit from a gas deal signed between Egypt, Israel and the European Union in June last year, under which Egypt will export Israeli liquified natural gas to Europe via Egyptian LNG plants. The deal came as the EU has aimed to decrease reliance on Russian gas amid the ongoing crisis.
Egypt and Romania have also intensified high-level visits over the past few years, the last of which was President Iohannis’s participation in the 27th UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) that Egypt hosted in November in Sharm El-Sheikh city.
Iohannis also visited Egypt in October 2021 and President El-Sisi visited Bucharest in June 2019.