Egypt, Uzbekistan affirm need to cooperate on counter terrorism, security

Ahram Online , Tuesday 21 Feb 2023

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said on Tuesday that he and his Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev agree on the importance of cooperating to combat terrorism and extremism.

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and his Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev during a press conference held in Cairo on Tuesday (Photo courtesy of Egyptian Presidency)


El-Sisi made the remarks at a press conference following a meeting at the Ittihadiya Presidential Palace with Mirziyoyev, who arrived in Cairo on Monday afternoon for a two-day visit, his first ever to the country.

El-Sisi hailed the role played by Egypt’s Al-Azhar in promoting tolerant Islam and receiving Uzbek students seeking education at the Islamic institution.

In a joint statement issued after the meeting, the presidents expressed deep concern about the spread of terrorism, which they described as one of the most dangerous threats to humanity.

They condemned the use of religion to justify, support, or sponsor terrorism, affirming the importance of the role of the international community in coordinating to eliminate this phenemenon.

El-Sisi and Mirziyoyev also called for uprooting terrorism networks and their safe havens and eliminating their infrastructure and financing channels.

They also highlighted the need to combat attempts by extremist organisations to use the internet and social media to recruit people and create strife among the youth.

Mirziyoyev underlined the role played by Egypt's prestigious religious institutions, especially Al-Azhar, in combating extremist thought and attempts to link this thought with Islam.

The two sides welcomed the expansion of cooperation between the religious institutions of Egypt and Uzbekistan in order to work on thwarting the spread of extremist thought.

Egyptian-Uzbek cooperation in this regard would include establishing cooperation between Egypt’s Dar Al-Ifta and the Uzbek Fatwa Centre.

The two sides will also discuss the participation of Uzbek imams and preachers in trainings organised by Dar Al-Ifta, the statement said.

During the presser, Mirziyoyev said he and El-Sisi agreed on the importance of stabilising the situation in Afghanistan and the need to maintain international assistance to the Afghan people.

Enhancing bilateral relations

President El-Sisi, who last visited Uzbekistan in 2018, praised the Uzbek president's policy of creating an atmosphere of mutual trust, friendship and good neighbourliness in Central Asia.

For his part, Mirziyoyev said during the press conference that Uzbekistan and Egypt shared a great political relationship, especially regarding regional disputes including the Palestinian issue, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The Uzbek president praised the efforts made by El-Sisi to establish peace and stability in the Middle East region, especially in terms of finding a permanent and just solution to the Palestinian issue, and working to restore stability in Libya.

The  Uzbek president received an official reception at the presidential palace, with the palace military band playing the national anthems of both countries.

In May 2022,  a seminar marking the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Uzbekistan and Egypt, along with a presentation of the New Uzbekistan development strategy, took place at the Cairo Center for Strategic Studies (CCSS).

During the press conference, El-Sisi indicated that the two-day visit of the Uzbekistani president to Egypt enhances bilateral relations in all fields.

He also expressed appreciation for Uzbekistan's support for Egypt to obtain "a dialogue partner" status in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which was granted at the SCO Summit held in Samarkand in September 2022 during Uzbekistan's presidency of the organisation.

Egyptian-Uzbek shared investments stand at $1.6 billion in several areas including transport, communications, handicrafts, medicines.

Additionally, the value of trade exchange in 2022 was $49.9 million in comparison to 46.6 in 2021, a 7 percent increase from the year before it, Minister of Trade and Industry Ahmed Samir said on Monday.

Mirziyoyev stressed that establishing cooperation with Egypt in the fields of gas, chemicals, manufacturing, textiles and pharmacy will be beneficial for both parties.

The Egyptian president said they have agreed to swiftly convene the Egyptian-Uzbek joint committee for economic cooperation as soon as possible, as well as to put the agreements signed between the two sides into practice.

The two leaders witnessed on Tuesday the inking of a number of memorandums of understanding (MoUs) between the two countries.

Short link: