Sisi signs three deals with China's president at BRICS summit

Ahram Online , Tuesday 5 Sep 2017

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi signed deals with Xi Jinping relating to internal security, rail transport and satellite technology

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R) walks with Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd R) in Abdeen palace during the Chinese president's first day of his visit, in Cairo, Egypt, January 20, 2016, in this handout courtesy of the Egyptian Presidency. Picture taken January (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi held talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Tuesday, signing three agreements on security, transport and satellite technology.

The two leaders met on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in the Chinese city of Xiamen, Egypt's state-run news agency MENA reported.

According to Alaa Youssef, Egyptian presidential spokesperson, El-Sisi signed two agreements and one memorandum of understanding, securing investment for Egypt in technical areas and strengthening security cooperation.

Security cooperation

The first agreement concerns increased cooperation between Egypt's Ministry of Interior and the Chinese Ministry of Public Security.

The two ministries are already engaged in cooperation on security issues, having signed a technical cooperation deal in September 2016 relating to security and counter-terrorism operations. Egypt is battling a terrorist insurgency based in North Sinai, while China is engaged in counter-terrorist operations in its restive northwestern province of Xinjiang

The two presidents also signed an economic and technical cooperation deal on Tuesday relating to its EgyptSat satellite programme.

Egypt's Investment Minister Sahar Nasr told Reuters that China is to provide 300 million yuan ($45 million) in funding for the satellite project, with a view to launching a new satellite in 2019.

In addition, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Egyptian Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation and the Chinese Ministry of Trade regarding the creation of a new electric train service in Egypt.

The new rail link, financed by Beijing, will connect Egypt's new administrative capital to the 10th of Ramadan City industrial zone.

The project will include 11 stations along a 68-kilometre route, connecting several residential and industrial zones while serving around 340,000 passengers daily. Construction work is due to start in two months.

According to a previous agreement, signed nearly a month ago, the project will see cooperation between Egypt's National Authority for Tunnels, China's AVIC International and the China Railway Group Ltd.

'Strong relations'

During their talks on Tuesday, El-Sisi and Xi Jinping praised the strong relations between Egypt and China, expressing hopes for developing these relations in several fields.

They highlighted progress made on various joint projects between the two countries, while discussing the ways of increasing trade, encouraging Egyptian exports to China, and increasing Chinese investments in Egypt.

Before he ends his China visit, El-Sisi is also expected to hold meetings with a number of large Chinese companies investing in Egypt.

Meeting with Modi

El-Sisi also took advantage of the BRICS summit to meet with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with the two agreeing on preparations for Modi's upcoming trip to Egypt, Youssef said.

Modi praised Egypt's efforts at boosting development and encouraging investment, saying that India currently has $3 billion invested in Egypt.

The two leaders also praised ongoing cooperation in the fields of training and qualifying workers, well as areas of common interest such as technology and capacity building.

On Monday, El-Sisi met with Russian President Vladimir Putin for wideranging discussions.

El-Sisi invited Putin to attend a ground-breaking ceremony at the site of the Dabaa nuclear-power plant, which Egypt is planning to build with Russian assistance. Putin announced his acceptance of the invitation.

Attending the BRICS

The Egyptian president arrived in China on Sunday to participate in the BRICS summit at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

The Egyptian delegation has focused on boosting cooperation with the key BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – as well as other emerging economies.

Egypt is also addressing ways of achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, as well as consolidating the cooperation between Egypt – as a representative of Arab countries – and China’s "One Belt, One Road" initiative.

The initiative aims at reviving the ancient trade routes between China and the Mediterranean countries through Asia and Europe.

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