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Railway Cooperation Is Focus of Russian Minister’s Talks in Egypt

Aug. 6, 2018 (EIRNS)—Russia has offered Egypt cooperation in the area of railway development, reports say. Russian First Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Georgy Kalamanov was received by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Aug. 5, reported TASS.

President el-Sisi praised “the positive development of strategic relations with Russia at all levels,” and expressed “confidence in their further development in all areas, especially in economy and trade.” He stressed that “Egypt wants to have the most favorable conditions, including receiving new railway cars and world-standard station equipment for its railway sector as part of government plans to build 2,000 kilometers of rail roads.”

For his part, Kalamanov said Russia

“is interested in cooperation with Egypt in the area of railway transport, and plans to use all possibilities to help Egypt maintain and develop its railways.”

The Russian official pointed to the possibilities for cooperation “under large-scale bilateral projects, including within the Russian industrial zone in Egypt, near the Suez Canal,” according to the Egyptian press statement.

“Egypt may be Russia’s intermediary in cooperation with other African nations in the area of railway transport, especially taking into account Cairo’s initiative to build a unified African railway network to promote economic integration on the continent,”

Kalamanov said.

Kalamanov’s reference to Cairo’s railway initiative refers in part to an agreement made among the leaders of Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia, at a tripartite summit last January in Addis Ababa, to build a railway linking the three countries. Last February, Egyptian Transport Minister Hisham Arafat announced that Egypt would draft a study in cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on the economic feasibility of the railway, which would begin in the Cairo suburb, 6th of October City. There have also been very preliminary discussions with Israel for linking the two countries by a railway.

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