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Putin, al-Sisi to discuss Russia-Egypt economic cooperation, international issues

August 11, 2014, 20:56 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, August 11. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Egyptian colleague Abdel Fatah al-Sisi will meet in Sochi on Tuesday to discuss economic cooperation, regional and international issues, the presidential press service said on Monday.

“The heads of state are expected to pay a great deal of attention to the development of trade and economic ties between the two countries,” it said, adding that regional and international issues would be one of the key topics to be discussed.

The two countries’ approaches to the resolution of crises in the Middle East are largely similar, including on the need to stop the violence in Gaza, settle the situation in Libya, Syria and Iraq, and counter international terrorism. The two leaders will “discuss further coordination of the countries’ efforts on the international arena,” the press service said.

Putin and al-Sisi can also discuss “the strengthening of humanitarian ties”, specifically cooperation in the field of culture, education and science between the government of Russia and Egypt, as well as tourism.

About two million Russian tourists visited Egypt last year despite temporary restrictions, and 542,000 in the first quarter of this year alone.

Trade turnover between Russia and Egypt last year amounted to $3 billion and more than doubled in the first half of this year to $2.5 billion from $1.2 billion in the same period of last year.

Egypt buys 25-30% of Russia’s wheat intended for export. Russian wheat accounts for about 40% of grain consumed by Egypt.

Other promising areas of cooperation are energy, car-making and transport.

Russia and Egypt have the inter-governmental commission on trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation. The two countries have also agreed to resume consultations on a free trade area agreement between Egypt and the Customs Union created by Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia.

Last week, Putin and al-Sisi discussed by phone key issues on the bilateral agenda ahead of the Egyptian president’s official visit to Moscow. “The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to further development of multifaceted mutually advantageous cooperation,” the presidential press service said.

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