A welcome ceremony was organised for Russia’s new ambassador to Egypt and its representative to the Arab League, Georgiy Borisenko, at the Russian Cultural Centre in Dokki, where he was introduced to an array of the senior officials from the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, former Egyptian ambassadors to Russia, representatives of civil society, and media figures.
(L-r) Sherif Gad, Alexey Tevanyan, Maxim Rubin, Yusup Abakarov, ambassador Georgiy Borisenko, and Amr Abdel-Hamid
Also attending were the head of the Consular Section in the Russian Embassy Yusup Abakarov, political counsellor Maxim Rubin, embassy counsellor Julia Lapshina, minister plenipotentiary Yuriy Matveev, and third secretary Valentin Makarov.
Also present were the president of the Egyptian Association of Graduates from Russian and Soviet Universities Sherif Gad, secretary-general of the association Fathy Toughan, association members Makarem Elghamry and Norhan El-Sheikh, writer for Al-Ahram newspaper Ahmed El-Meslmany, poet Gamal El-Shaar, and TV anchor Amr Abdel-Hamid.
(L-r) Makarem Elghamry, Norhan El-Sheikh, ambassador Georgiy Borisenko, and Julia Lapshina
The reception included Russian tea and traditional Russian food as well as a photo exhibition that showed the bilateral relationship between Egypt and Russia.
Ideas were exchanged on how to celebrate the upcoming Egypt-Russia Cultural Year, the activities of which have been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus.
The evening started with a speech by the ambassador, who said that Egypt and Russia agree on many ancient traditions of joint cooperation. “The Egyptians know and appreciate classical Russian literature, and Russian children study world history, including the history of the ancient Egyptians, in addition to the millions of Russians who have had the opportunity to come to Egypt for tourism and who adore Egypt and its people,” he said.
“I hope for a strong continuation of Egyptian-Russian communication in the coming period in all fields and also on the popular level of the two countries, which is one of the goals of the Egypt-Russia Cultural Year, which is the initiative of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and President Vladimir Putin,” he continued.
In his speech, director of the Russian Cultural Centre Alexey Tevanyan said that the postponement of the activities of the Egypt-Russia Cultural Year to 2021 has allowed more time for the cultural figures in the two countries to consult in order to achieve the greatest benefit for both peoples, stressing that Egypt and Russia are linked by a long history of honourable positions on the international scene and that Egyptian-Russian relations since ancient times have been -- and are still -- strong and strategic, and represent a true friendship between the two brotherly countries.
The secretary-general of the Supreme Council for Culture Hisham Azmy said that bilateral relations are a model to be emulated in the depth and strength of relations between countries.