Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed in Cairo Thursday a number of cooperation deals aimed to foster over 60 years of ties between the two countries, Egypt’s state TV reported.
The official broadcasted footage shows the two leaders witnessing the signing of 21 technical and economic deals including one to build a new administrative capital and another to develop an industrial and commercial hub around Egypt’s Suez Canal.
The deals– in the transportation, power generation, and civil aviation sectors are worth $15, according to Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr.
They also include a $1 billion financing agreement for the Egyptian central bank and a $700 million loan to the state-owned National Bank of Egypt.
Xi arrived in Cairo on Wednesday in the first visit by a Chinese president to Egypt in 12 years. He held talks with Al-Sisi and was due to address the Cairo-based Arab League
He was received Thursday with a 21-gun salute as he arrived at one of Cairo’s presidential palaces for the Egyptian-Chinese summit.
Xi was also planned to speak to Egypt’s newly-elected parliament.
Xi said Wednesday that his country “supports Egypt’s efforts to maintain stability, develop the economy, improve livelihoods, and supports Egypt to play an even greater role in international and regional affairs,” he was quoted as saying by the foreign ministry.
The Chinese leader has stressed that he is seeking cooperation with Egypt on China’s modern trade route, known as the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
“We are ready to work with the Egyptian side to carry forward our traditional friendship, learn from each other, and deepen our practical cooperation in various fields under the Belt and Road Initiative, so as to let our people share development benefits and enjoy a better life,” Xi was quoted by China Daily as saying.
Xi’s two-day visit is the second leg of a Middle East tour that he kicked off earlier in the week in Saudi Arabia. He is expected in Iran later this week.
The visit comes as the two countries mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic Chinese-Egyptian ties.
The Chinese and Egyptian presidents are due to head later on Thursday to the southern temple city of Luxor to attend a ceremony marking the beginning of the “Egypt-Chinese cultural year.”
source: Ahram online