Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko visited Egypt to commemorate the first space flight by Russian pilot Yuri Gagarin, who was the first human being to travel to outer space.
Kornienko attended a ceremony on 9 April to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Gagarin’s space flight.
The celebration was sponsored by the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom, in collaboration with the Russian Cultural Centre in Cairo, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and the Egyptian Space Agency.
Mikhail Kornienko visits the Egyptian Space Agency in New Cairo (Photo credit of the Russian Cultural Centre)
The Ministry of Youth and Sports organised a press conference for Kornienko in the Olympic Centre located in Maadi.
The press conference was attended by Youth and Sports Minister Ashraf Sobhi, Russian ambassador to Egypt Georgiy Borisenko, CEO of the Egyptian Space Agency Mohamed El-Qoussi, and the General Director of the Russian Cultural Centres in Egypt Alexey Tevanyan.
Also, delegations from the Russian community in Egypt attended, as well as members of the Egyptian Association of Graduates from Russian and Soviet Universities, headed by Sherif Gad, and members of the Russian diplomatic mission in Egypt.
The families of poets Mahmoud Tawfik and Abdel-Rahman El-Khamesi were present. Tawfik and El-Khamesi wrote poems about Gagarin.
Kornienko said that he achieved his dream by seeing the pyramids in person.
“Previously I saw them during my space flights, but now I finally visited them,” the cosmonaut said, adding that visiting Egypt is a dream.
Sobhi affirmed that the cooperation between Egypt and Russia extends to a lot of fields. He said that the future of Egyptian Russian relations is full of promise as their cooperation is supported by the political leaders in the two countries.
Russian ambassador Borisenko welcomed the cosmonaut, saying that receiving him today resembles receiving Gagarin 60 years ago when he was gifted the ‘Nile Necklace’ by late President Gamal Abdel-Nasser.