Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi , Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry , Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic and Serbian Ambassador to Cairo Suzana Bošković-Prodanović during their meeting in Cairo on Sunday 22, August , 2021. Photo courtesy of Egyptian presidential spokesman Facebook page
Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic affirmed on Sunday his country’s keenness to continue cooperation with Egypt on all levels against the challenges facing the countries on the Mediterranean’s two shores.
His remarks came in a meeting with Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in Cairo.
This cooperation comes in light of the direct relation between security in Europe and the situation in the Middle East and North Africa region, an Egyptian presidential statement cited Selakovic as saying.
Selakovic hailed the Egyptian efforts aiming to achieve security and stability in its regional surrounding as well as efforts to strengthen the bridges of cooperation between African, Arab and European countries.
He also praised Egypt’s efforts to counter extremist though and establish the principles of acceptance of others, freedom of choice and tolerance, according to the statement.
Selakovic expressed keenness to continue coordination and consultation between the two countries in various fields.
“[Selakovic affirmed] aspiration to develop and enhance Serbia’s relations with Egypt, especially in light of the successful and inspiring developmental experience Egypt currently witnesses under President [El-Sisi’s] in all fields,” the statement read.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Serbian Ambassador to Cairo Suzana Bošković-Prodanović attended the meeting.
El-Sisi hailed the historic relations extending for more than 100 years with Serbia, through which the two countries have witnessed constructive and fruitful cooperation on the bilateral and international levels.
El-Sisi affirmed Egypt’s aspiration to enhance the bilateral relations with Serbia on all levels and boost trade exchange between the two countries in a way that comes in line with the level of their distinguished political relations with each other.
This comes in light of the major development projects being implemented in Egypt and the investment and industrial opportunities these projects secure, El-Sisi said.
The president also highlighted the possibility that the Serbian companies benefit from the commercial agreements linking Egypt with the Arab and African countries.
Direct flights, cooperation
Selakovic also met on Sunday with Egyptian FM Shoukry, affirming that there is a lot of room to improve economic relations between the two countries.
When asked about the return of direct flights between Cairo and Belgrade amid Egypt’s adoption of strict coronavirus preventive measures in its tourist destinations, Selakovic said that he hopes that the issue would be addressed soon.
He stated that he would speak the Serbian transport minister in order to assess the situation and overcome the obstacles in this regard.
The Serbian FM affirmed the possibility of enhancing the relationship between the two countries in various fields, especially agriculture, tourism, telecommunications, energy and health sectors.
Serbia and Egypt have had strong ties historically, especially during the tenure of late Egyptian President Gamal Abdel-Nasser, as the two countries have cooperated for the benefit of all countries that sought freedom and independence.
Selakovic highlighted the 60th anniversary of the first Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement scheduled for October in Belgrade, saying it “would be a great honour for us to host President El-Sisi.”
The top Serbian diplomat voiced hope that a joint committee for economic and trade exchange and cooperation would be held by the end of the year between Serbia and Egypt would.
This is in addition to a business forum where Serbian and Egyptian businessmen would meet, he added.
According to Shoukry, the Serbian FM’s visit will also include a tour at Al-Azhar, the New Administrative Capital and the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization as well as a meeting with Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria.
Last month, Egypt’s Defense Minister Mohamed Zaki signed a military cooperation protocol with Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Nebojša Stefanović in Cairo.
Egypt will also organise a “tourism week” in Sharm El-Sheikh in September for a number of senior Serbian political, tourism, media, and religious figures.