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CAIRO, April 18 (Itar-Tass) - Egypt is hoping for Russia's support during the transition period, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said in an interview to Itar-Tass Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman, ahead of his first visit to Russia.
"We try to develop productive relations with all countries of the world; we regard Russia as our old and loyal friend and wish it to remain such at present and support the Egyptian people in this transition period from the epoch of dictatorship to a new epoch in Egypt's history," Morsi said, adding that this would be one of the subjects of his talks with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
"Cairo and Moscow have a long record of solid diplomatic relations that spans seven decades," he reminded, "they had ups and downs, but now our people is striving for Egypt's becoming open to the whole world. Our doors are open to all. From our point of view, Russia plays a very important role in the world. To raise our relations to a properly high level, we're ready to make decisive moves."
Mohamed Morsi's first meeting with Vladimir Putin took place during the BRICS summit in Durban, South Africa, on March 17. "It was a remarkable meeting; I am very happy that this meeting took place," Morsi said, "I felt that President Putin was talking seriously and sincerely about the striving to develop relations with Egypt. I'm also committed to building Cairo's relations with other states, in the first place, with great powers, on the same principles."
According to Morsi, Egypt and Russia have a huge potential to expand bilateral cooperation, including the development of the infrastructure of the Suez Canal and the Red Sea coast.
"Russia has a large experience and high technologies in communications and utility systems, as well as in the field of clean energy. I believe your country can play an active role in training skilled personnel and conducting research in nuclear power engineering for the construction of electric power plants and desalination units," Morsi said.
The president also noted that Cairo was very interested in Russian know-how in fisheries. "Russia has a large fleet on different seas, and Egypt, with is long coastline and access to non-freezing seas, badly needs it.
Egypt is trying to boost bilateral trade, develop cooperation in research and attract Russian technologies. "We're also interested in cultural exchange and cooperation in the fields of education and tourism," he added.
The complete text of the interview with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is carried by the Rossiiskaya Gazeta. It will also be available in the next issue of the Formula of Power program on the Russia 24 news channel.