Egypt parliament speaker to receive Russian ‎delegation Tuesday

Gamal Essam El-Din , Sunday 24 Jan 2016

A high-profile Russian delegation led by Sergy ‎Naryshikin, speaker of the Russian Duma, will visit ‎Egypt's House of Representatives Tuesday

A general view shows members of the Egyptian parliament attending the opening session at the main headquarters of Parliament in Cairo, Egypt, January 10, 2016 (Reuters)

Egypt's parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Al will receive a high-‎profile delegation from Russia Tuesday.

‎According to a press release, the delegation, led by ‎speaker of the Russian parliament Sergy Naryshikin, ‎will include a number of prominent MPs in the State ‎Duma (the lower house of parliament of the Russian ‎Federation), journalists and businessmen.‎

The release said the fact that the visit comes only ‎three weeks after the first sitting of Egypt's new ‎parliament on 10 January testifies to ‎growing relations between Egypt and Russia at all ‎levels.‎

‎"Abdel-Al will receive Naryshikin at 2pm Tuesday ‎to boost parliamentary, political and economic ‎cooperation between Egypt and Russia," said the ‎release.‎

Informed sources said the Russian delegation will ‎also meet with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and other leading Egyptian ‎officials.‎

Naryshikin's visit comes only few days after China's ‎President XI Jinping met with Abdel-Al last ‎week to congratulate him on his election as speaker ‎of Egypt's new parliament.‎

Emad Gad, an Al-Ahram political analyst and MP with ‎the liberal Free Egyptians Party, told Ahram ‎Online that "The visits from China and Russia reflect ‎a growing interest on the part of these two countries ‎in fostering ties at all levels with Egypt."

"In the past, ‎we were seeing delegations from the US Congress ‎coming to Egypt, but now it is delegations from ‎America's two rivals — Russia and China —who are ‎most interested in visiting Egypt," said Gad.‎

Gad said that President's El-Sisi moves in his ‎first two years in office to build new bridges with ‎Beijing and Moscow has helped stabilise Egypt's ‎foreign relations. "You are not now ‎relying on one superpower (that was America ‎under the regime of Hosni Mubarak), but ‎have strategic relationships with more than one ‎superpower, mainly Russia and China," said Gad.‎

After his meeting with China's head of state 21 ‎January, Abdel-Al said President XI Jinping ‎expressed his wish that an Egyptian parliamentary ‎delegation visit China very soon to create greater ‎links with the National People's Congress (the ‎Chinese parliament).‎

Abdel-Al indicated that as parliament speaker he will ‎not be able to travel abroad before Egypt's ‎membership in the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) ‎is reinstated. IPU speaker Saber Chowdhury ‎announced 21 January that Egypt will officially rejoin ‎the IPU during its General Assembly meetings in ‎Lusaka (Zambia) on 22 March.‎

Gad expects that the visit of the Russian delegation ‎this week will help restore the influx of Russian ‎tourists into Egypt after the crash of a Russian ‎Airbus above Sinai last November and lead to further coordination on ‎important issues such as fighting terrorism. ‎‎

"The fact that this delegation includes businessmen ‎and journalists shows that relations with Russia ‎have survived the plane crash in Sinai and that ‎Russia under President Vladimir Putin is keen ‎to push relations with Egypt to higher levels," said ‎Gad. ‎

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