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PRESS RELEASE


Egypt’s President el-Sisi Begins Three-Day Visit to Russia and Then Goes to China

Aug. 25, 2015 (EIRNS)—Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi today began a three-day visit to Russia, where he will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss enhancing economic and strategic cooperation between the two countries. This is el-Sisi’s third trip to Moscow since becoming President in June 2014. The visit was scheduled during a meeting between Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and President el-Sisi in Ismailia, Egypt during the Aug. 6 opening ceremony of the New Suez Canal.

El-Sisi will meet with Putin tomorrow, according to the Kremlin, where they will discuss "all aspects of bilateral relations, including prospects of further strengthening trade and economic cooperation."

An anonymous source told Al-Ahram daily that the main purpose of the visit was to finalize the agreement for the construction of Egypt’s first nuclear power plant at Dabaa on the north coast, with Russian concessional loans.

Egypt and Russia signed a preliminary agreement in February for Russia to assist in finishing a long-postponed plan for the nuclear power plant. Egypt needs to keep increasing its current output of around 30 gigawatts of electricity by 6 gigawatts each year for the next seven years, in order to keep up with growing demand, Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker told investors at Egypt’s major March international conference in Sharm El-Sheikh.

High on the agenda is also the establishment of a Russian industrial zone in Egypt, either in Ataqa near Suez or in northern Fayoum, Minister of Trade and Industry Mounir Fakhry told Al-Ahram earlier this week. Creating a Russian industrial zone in the Suez Canal area was taken up when Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was in Egypt on Aug. 6 to attend the celebrations for New Suez Canal opening, and he mentioned it in his Aug. 6 interview with Al-Ahram. Also under discussion is a free-trade agreement between Egypt and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).

Also in Moscow on Aug. 25 will be Jordan’s King Abdullah II, who will meet with el-Sisi that day to discuss bilateral cooperation, including plans to build the first nuclear power plant in Jordan as well as the fight against the Islamic State terrorists.

On Aug. 27, el-Sisi will leave for visits to Singapore, China, and Indonesia. In China he will attend the Chinese celebration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Beijing. This will be his second visit to China; his first visit was in December 2014. Economic bilateral relations and investment opportunities in Egypt are on the top of el-Sisi’s agenda during his Asian tour.