President Sisi heads to St. Petersburg to attend Russia-Africa Summit

Ahram Online , Wednesday 26 Jul 2023

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is heading on Wednesday to St. Petersburg, Russia to attend the second edition of the Russia-Africa Summit, Presidential Spokesman Ahmed Fahmy said in a statement.

File Photo: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi smiles during talks with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic at the Serbia Palace in Belgrade, Serbia. AP


This year’s edition of the summit will kick off on Thursday with the participation of Egypt and 49 countries represented by nearly 45 heads of state.

Egypt's Ambassador to Russia Nazih El-Nagari’s said in TV remarks on Tuesday the summit will focus on economic and development objectives, particularly in light of the current global economic crisis. 

The summit will be divided into two parts: an economic and humanitarian summit on 27 July, followed by a leaders' political summit on 28 July, the ambassador explained.

“Russia has huge capabilities in the economic and development field, and it tries to provide those capabilities to the African states so they can benefit from them,” he said.

El-Nagari added that African nations and Russia intend to boost their trade balance at the summit, up from $18 billion annually at present.

He emphasized that African countries and Russia share mutual goals for the summit, especially economic ones. These are on top of the political understanding expressed during the first summit, he added.

Bilateral relations

During his visit, El-Sisi will also meet with Putin to discuss enhancing bilateral relations, according to the statement.

Both nations are committed to strengthening cooperation and continuing intensive consultation on issues of mutual interest at the international and regional levels, Fahmy added.

In his remarks to MENA, the Russian ambassador in Cairo highlighted the significance of the upcoming talks between the two presidents in St. Petersburg, which provide an excellent opportunity for in-depth discussions on global and regional matters.

The Russian ambassador stated that El-Sisi “is always an honoured guest of Russia” and would receive a warm welcome from his Russian counterpart during his visit.

The ambassador expressed his expectation that these high-level talks, which coincide with the 80th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two nations, will propel cooperation between Russia and Egypt.

The summit comes on the heels of already increasing trade exchange between the two countries.

In 2022, Egypt’s exports to Russia surged to $595.1 million, up 21.6 percent from 2021, according to data from the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).

Meanwhile, Egypt’s imports from Russia increased to $4.1 billion in 2022, up 15.5 percent from 2021.

In the first six months of 2023, 750,000 Russian tourists visited Egypt, according to the Egyptian ambassador, who predicted that the number could surpass one million by the end of the year.

“Most of the charter flights between Russia and Egypt have been restored and currently we have between 25-30,000 tourists who visit Egypt weekly,” the ambassador said.

First edition

The first-ever Russian-African Summit was co-chaired in 2019 by Russian President Vladimir Putin and El-Sisi, who held the rotating presidency of the 55-nation African Union (AU) at the time, Egypt’s presidential spokesman stated.

It was held in Sochi to deepen the longstanding relations between the continent and Russia, Fahmy explained, while also enhancing consultation to address mutual challenges.

During the summit, 92 agreements, contracts, and memoranda of understanding worth over $11 billion were signed.

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