File Photo: Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (L) shakes hands with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. REUTERS
Following Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s recent resignation announcement, Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi issued a statement on Facebook on Saturday praising Abe as a “patriotic statesman who gave much to his country.”
Abe, who served for around eight years as Japan’s prime minister and president of the Liberal Democratic Party, announced his resignation on Friday over a resurgence of his ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease from which he has suffered for many years.
The Egyptian president wished Abe a speedy recovery and praised him for being “a friend and a supporting partner to Egypt who made great contributions in enhancing cooperation and friendship between Egypt and Japan.”
Abe, 65, became Japan’s longest serving prime minister last year, ruling since 2012.
This is not the first time Abe has resigned over health issues. In 2007, after only one year in office, he resigned and handed the reigns over to chief cabinet secretary Yasuo Fukuda.
The last time Abe met with El-Sisi was in August last year on the sidelines of the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).
The two sides discussed enhancing cooperation in the fields of basic education, higher education, culture, technology, energy and transport. They also discussed the construction of the Grand Egyptian Museum in northern Egypt’s Giza governorate, as well as encouraging more Japanese companies to invest in Egypt.