Sisi calls for consensus on grain export agreement at Russia-Africa Summit

Ahram Online , Friday 28 Jul 2023

Egypt's president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi called for a consensual agreement on grain exports to halt the continuous rise in grain prices during his speech on Friday at the Russia-Africa Summit in Russia's St. Petersburg.



“I look forward to reaching a consensus on a grain export agreement that takes into account the demands and interests of all parties involved and puts an end to the continuous increase in grain prices," he added.

The second edition of the summit kicked off on Thursday with the participation of 49 countries, including Egypt, represented by nearly 45 heads of state.

During his speech on Friday, El-Sisi stated that this summit takes place amidst a highly complex international context characterized by heightened polarization and transformative changes that challenge the fundamental principles of the modern international system. 

In this regard, he pointed out that African countries face various challenges that affect their developmental paths, security, and the rights of future generations, stressing the need for tools and measures to address these issues and ensure a safe future.

In his speech, the Egyptian president outlined Egypt's four-point vision for the current international situation and the key areas for enhancing cooperation within the strategic partnership between Africa and Russia.

Firstly, El-Sisi emphasized the significance of African sovereignty and independence. He asserted that African countries are not passive players but sovereign and independent actors who seek peace, security, and sustainable development that prioritise the well-being of their people. 

Therefore, he stressed the importance of staying immune to divisive polarization and uniting for the greater good.

Secondly, the Egyptian president stressed that any solutions to existing conflicts must be grounded in the objectives and principles of the United Nations Charter and in international law. 

El-Sisi stressed the importance of reaching peaceful resolutions to conflicts, safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and addressing the root causes of crises, especially those linked to national security determinants.

Furthermore, he called for refraining from using tools that only served to fuel conflicts and deepen divisions.

Thirdly, the Egyptian president highlighted the severe ramifications of conflicts on the economy of African countries by pointing out the adverse impact of such conflicts on food security, supply chains, and energy prices.

Therefore, El-Sisi stressed the necessity of providing affordable food and fertilizers in a way that helps African countries resolve these crises.

He also affirmed the importance of exploring innovative financing mechanisms in supporting agricultural and food systems in Africa.  

"I emphasize the importance of finding urgent solutions to provide food and fertilizers at prices that help Africa overcome this crisis. We should explore innovative financing mechanisms to support agricultural and food systems in Africa," the Egyptian president said.

El-Sisi thus expressed keenness to achieve a consensual agreement on grain exports that would consider the interests and demands of all parties and end the continuous rise in grain prices.

In this regard, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Russia understands the importance of supplying African countries with foodstuffs and will remain a reliable source of foodstuffs for Africa. 

Moscow withdrew from the Black Sea grain agreement after protesting for months that the parts of the deal that allowed for the export of Russian fertiliser were not honoured and refused to renew the deal last week. A decision that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said will affect millions of people who are facing hunger.

Finally, El-Sisi addressed the importance of having an influential and effective African voice within international forums.

He also reaffirmed Egypt's willingness to support African demands within the G20 framework and advocate for reforms in international financial institutions that meet such demands.

The Egyptian president concluded by highlighting the pivotal role that Russia can play in this regard.

“I express Egypt's aspiration for African demands to be acknowledged within the framework of the G20, as well as efforts to reform international financial institutions, with the support of our Russian partner and friend,” El-Sisi said

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