President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, I am delighted to welcome you to Russia and to St Petersburg. Thank you for accepting our invitation to come to Russia for the second Russia-Africa Summit.
I would like to remind you that in 2019 you chaired the African Union and were actually the founding father of that format. Today you are supervising a project for Africa’s economic development. I have no doubt that there are issues we can discuss in this sphere as well.
In a month we will mark the 80th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our countries. Over that period, over those decades, relations between Russia and Egypt have acquired a special meaning and status. Mr President, a great deal has been done towards this end under your guidance.
We have large and ambitious projects, including in energy. I am referring to the well-known nuclear power plant project. Our plans are proceeding according to schedule. Last year, our trade increased by 28.8 percent, according to our statistics. Over the first five months of this year, it went up by another 7 percent year on year. Egypt accounts for one third of Russia’s trade with Africa.
This year, we are holding events as part of the Year of Cultural Cooperation between Russia and Egypt, which will certainly further increase rapprochement between our nations.
Mr President, I am delighted to see you. Welcome to Russia.
President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (retranslated): Mr President, I would like to begin by thanking you for the successful organisation of the upcoming event and for the invitation you have kindly sent to me. Thank you for a warm welcome and for your hospitality.
We have a positive attitude to all initiatives and invitations, including from you, when they concern multilateral cooperation and interaction in Africa.
Of course, we also pay attention to bilateral cooperation. It goes without saying that we intend to advance it as far as possible. Mr President, as you have pointed out, the El Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant is a project that is fundamental to our cooperation, and we will carry it through. Another element is the establishment of the Russian Industrial Zone. There are also other endeavours and projects which we will be able to discuss in detail today.
Mr President, I would like to mention the special nature of relations between our countries. I am confident that substantial results will be achieved at the Russia-Africa Summit.
I was honoured to chair the previous Russia-Africa Summit held in 2019. Once again, thank you for a warm welcome today.
I am delighted to see you.