China's Xi Jinping praises Egypt's 'pivotal' role in Middle East and Africa

Ahram Online , Monday 22 Feb 2021

Egypt depends on the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, alongside the British-Swedish Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, in its vaccination campaign, which started in late January

Egypt and China
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (R) and Chinese President Xi Jinping

In a phone call on Monday with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Chinese President Xi Jinping affirmed that his country recognises the "pivotal importance" of Egypt in the Middle East and Africa as well as the "remarkable" developmental and economic improvement the country is witnessing.

The Chinese president also affirmed his country's willingness to fulfill Egypt's needs for coronavirus vaccines as well as transfer its expertise in containing the pandemic.

The Chinese president reiterated that the cooperation between the two countries in the field of combating the deadly virus reflects their close bilateral relations.

President Xi expressed his country's interest in strengthening cooperation between the two countries to contain the coronavirus, Egyptian presidential spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement.

President Xi also hailed Egypt for "successfully" containing the repercussions of the pandemic, Rady added.

President El-Sisi expressed his appreciation for China's decision to grant coronavirus vaccines to Egypt, stressing on Egypt's hope to strengthen cooperation and coordination between healthcare providers.

“The Egyptian president highlighted the mutual support between the two countries during the coronavirus pandemic crisis as evidence of the depth of relations between the two friendly countries," the statement said.

Egypt depends on the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, alongside the British-Swedish Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, in its vaccination campaign, which started in late January for medical workers at quarantine hospitals.

Egypt officially received the first batch of 50,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine in December. Another batch of 300,000 doses is set to arrive in Cairo soon, according to the Chinese ambassador to Cairo.

During the call, El-Sisi added that Egypt is keen to develop cooperation between the two countries, particularly in attracting Chinese investment, transferring Chinese technology and expertise, and cooperating within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), in order to achieve the two countries' common interests in progress and development.

The BRI is a multibillion-dollar Chinese infrastructure development programme that includes projects in countries around the world with the aim of improving road and maritime connectivity.

He also congratulated the Chinese president on the Chinese New Year celebrations.

The Chinese president affirmed his country's "continuous" keenness to promote its "close" partnership with Egypt in all fields in a manner that meets the aspirations of the two peoples.

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