Sisi’s Trip to China to Enhance Strategic Partnership: Minister

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The main purpose of President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi’s expected visit to Beijing is to create a kind of strategic partnership with China, Egypt’s International Cooperation Minister Naglaa al-Ahwani told Xinhua on Saturday.

China is now attractive to the whole world, Naglaa al-Ahwani said during an interview, adding that there is a mutual strong desire for further cooperation between the two states.

“China is one of the most important states and the most growing countries across the world with a very huge potential for development,” she said.

Egypt has recently established a cabinet unit specified for China led by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, including a number of key ministers as members to study fields of cooperation with China.

Egypt seeks to attract more Chinese investments, Ahwani said. “The concerned ministers provided a number of project proposals to be tackled with the Chinese side before, during and after Sisi’s visit to Beijing.”

“A delegation including the ministers of transport, electricity, investment and myself, will go to China on Sunday in an attempt to study these projects with the Chinese side.”

The minister believes that Chinese companies can efficiently contribute to the development of the Suez Canal region.

“We seek to propose these projects now and they will be further discussed during the visit, and in a later stage they will be presented more accurately and announced in the economic conference in Egypt in March 2015,” she said.

Egypt seems to be heading the East towards further relations with China and Russia, particularly after a rift in its ties with the United States that rejected the overthrow of Muslim Brotherhood-oriented former President Mohamed Morsi by the military last year.

Still, the country desires to keep balance in its ties with Eastern and Western states as shown in Sisi’s recent visits to France and Italy and his intended visit to China.

“Egypt’s general foreign policy seeks balance in its relations with all world states. Over the past years, we focused more on the West,” Ahwani said, adding that the current policy is to have balanced relations with a group of countries that have been ignored in the past, including China, Russia and African countries.

Evaluating Egypt’s current relations with China, Ahwani described them as “strong,” adding that China has always supported Egypt and its causes on political and diplomatic levels, besides the growing Chinese investments in the country.

“We have received a large group of grants and loans from China. Also, many delegations from Egyptian ministries were received by China to get training courses in various fields,” Ahwani added.

The minister said Egypt is working on removing all obstacles facing Chinese investors in Egypt and facilitating investment procedures to create an attractive atmosphere for foreign investments in the country in general.

Source: Xinhua

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