(L-r) Philippine Ambassador to Egypt Ezzedin H. Tago with Hazem El-Tahri, Deputy Assistant Foreign Minister for the ASEAN. Photo by Amr Yehia
At the beginning of the party, Philippine Ambassador to Egypt Ezzedin H Tago welcomed his guests that included Egyptian diplomats, especially representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Also in attendance were diplomats from a number of countries, including: the ambassadors of Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, Azerbaijan, Singapore, Cambodia, Panama, Brunei, Sri Lanka, and the Vatican and the chargé d'affaires of the Dominican Embassy.
In his speech, Ambassador Tago confirmed that, since his arrival in Cairo in September 2021, he has been keen to expand commercial and diplomatic relations between the two countries. During his time in Cairo, he added, he as discovered that Filipinos and Egyptians are very similar.
"We have the same population of 100 million, the average youth population is between the ages of 22 and 24, and both of our peoples have this ability to harness opportunities for economic growth through our youth.”
He observed that despite the differences between the two countries – the Philippines is an archipelago consisting of 7,640 islands, for example – the two peoples share the same family values and have love and pride for their respective countries.
“I try to find ways we can increase the common similarities."
“We have developed projects and initiatives that will help build bridges between our people, and we invite Egyptian officials, travelers and businessmen groups to visit the Philippines in order to explore opportunities for cooperation. Likewise, we invite Filipinos to visit 'Mother of the World' [Egypt] and discover its potential.”
Ambassador Tago thanked Egypt for allowing the entry of more than 550 Filipinos who were fleeing the ongoing violence in Sudan. He also thanked the Honorary Consul of the Philippines in Sudan, Tariq Al-Nafidi, for his sacrifices and efforts to ensure the safety of Filipino citizens in Sudan.
75 years of cooperation
For his part, Ambassador Hazem El-Tahri, Egypt’s deputy assistant foreign minister for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Affairs (ASEAN), pointed out that over the past 75 years, Egypt and the Philippines have cooperated on issues ranging from economic development to politics.
"We have strengthened people-to-people relations, and as a result our friendship has grown and we look forward to supporting our economic and political relationship as well," he added.
Egypt was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with the Philippines in 1955. The two countries have the same interest in strengthening their economies and improving the standard of living of the people, El-Tahri said.
The past two years have witnessed many political and economic challenges all over the world, he pointed out, adding that "we need to confront them." He further explained that cooperation in all fields, especially trade, is one of the tools to overcome these challenges.
Both countries work together to enhance high-level visits, he concluded.