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Russia and Egypt To Accelerate Industrial and Nuclear Projects

Oct. 23, 2019 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin met today with Egypt’s President Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in a bilateral meeting before the Russia-Africa Economic Forum and Summit, which they are co-chairing, began—their third meeting this year. President el-Sisi is this year’s chairman of the African Union.

In their public opening greetings, both Presidents emphasized the importance of advancing on the “ambitious” nuclear and industrial zone projects the two countries are working on. Putin reported to el-Sisi that, when visiting the United Arab Emirates last week, he had briefed officials on these Russian-Egyptian plans, and they “became extremely interested in our joint project and will also think of how to become involved in our joint industrial development plans.”

El-Sisi pressed for these projects to be moved forward quickly, with the same “get it done now” approach he applied to such success in the Suez Canal expansion. Egypt wants to accelerate the process of setting up the Russian Industrial Zone in the Suez Canal Economic Zone by “resolving all outstanding problems so that Russian companies and enterprises come to Egypt, register and start working there.” Likewise on the nuclear power plant, Egypt “strongly hope[s] that all topics related to this project will be settled without delay so that we can start implementing the project in accordance with the signed contract.”

President El-Sisi then invited President Putin to visit Egypt again for the groundbreaking ceremony of the nuclear power project and the signing of the contract for the Russian Industrial Zone.

El-Sisi took the occasion to thank Putin for holding this first Russia-Africa Economic Forum and Summit. He referenced Russia’s long history of good relations with the whole continent, starting with its support for the African liberation movement. Russia has proved a “reliable partner,” he said, and “we hope very much that Russia will be working in Africa in all spheres and fields, including in that of the development, as well as in the financing of infrastructure projects on the continent and in particular in energy and road construction.”

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