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Putin to hold talks with Egypt’s president on boosting bilateral cooperation

February 10, 2015, 8:56 UTC+3 CAIRO

The Russian president Vladimir Putin has arrived to Cairo for a two-day visit

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© Mikhail Metsel/TASS

CAIRO, February 10. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has arrived in Cairo for a two-day visit, is due to hold negotiations with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Tuesday.

Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said the Russian and Egyptian leaders are expected to discuss both bilateral cooperation and also major issues of regional and international agenda.

The talks are due to focus on international issues, namely searching for steps to improve the situation in the Middle East and North Africa — in Iraq, Syria and Libya and also finding solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Ushakov said.

"The sides will talk strengthening coordination of efforts of Russia and Egypt on the international arena, including with the goal of fighting against international terrorism," the presidential aide said, in particular mentioning the problem of the Islamic State militant group.

The presidents will pay significant attention to enhancing bilateral economic ties, which have received a vibrant upward direction. In January-November 2014, the Russian-Egyptian trade reached $4.6 billion, a 80% increase compared with the same period of 2013.

In particular, Russia meets 40% of Egypt’s demand in wheat.

On the sidelines of the visit, preparations are underway for signing a memorandum on cooperation in the sphere of attracting investment and the participation of Russian companies in constructing facilities in Egypt, and also an agreement between the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Egypt’s investment ministry.

According to Ushakov, the prospective areas of cooperation between the two countries are energy, including nuclear power, machinery manufacturing and space spheres.

The presidential aide also reminded that Egypt is a major tourist destination for Russians. A record 3 million Russian citizens visited the country last year. "In this context, the countries’ cooperation to ensure the due level of security and conditions of stay for Russian tourists on the Red Sea resorts is of growing importance," he said.

During the visit, the Russian leader is accompanied by several ministers — Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Agriculture Minister Nikolay Fedorov, Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev and Energy Minister Alexander Novak.

The head of Russia's state nuclear power corporation Rosatom, Sergey Kiriyenko, and Kirill Dmitriev, the director general of the state-owned RDIF, which was set up in 2011, have also arrived in Cairo.

The Russian delegation in Cairo also includes the representatives of the country’s military bloc as the Russian and Egyptian leaders plan to discuss the issues of military and technical cooperation, Ushakov added.

The Russian presidential aide said Putin and El-Sisi have good personal relations.

"We are paying a two-day visit namely thanks to the personal request of President [el-Sisi] as he wanted to devote much more time to personal contacts with Putin to discuss various issues of bilateral cooperation and the most topical international issues in an informal and formal atmosphere," Ushakov said.

"In my opinion, this will be an interesting visit," the presidential aide said.

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