Press statements following Russian-Egyptian talks 2013-04-19 20:15:00 Sochi President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I have just completed comprehensive talks with the President of Egypt. This is already our second meeting in a short period of time. We traditionally are attributing prime importance to our relations with Egypt, which is certainly a key country in the region. We have a rich experience of cooperation with Egypt. This year will mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our countries. Over the period we have experienced everything, including rises and downturns in our relations. But overall, our relations are expanding, because they have always been based on a solid foundation of friendship and mutual respect between the peoples of the two countries. Now, even with the difficult processes taking place in the region, trade and economic cooperation continues to grow stronger. In 2011–2012, our trade increased by 70 percent. Agricultural products make a significant share of in our trade, but we have agreed to gradually diversify our trade and economic ties, giving more attention to investment cooperation. New joint projects in industrial cooperation, energy, and agriculture, which I mentioned earlier, would help increase the mutual flow of investments. Large Russian companies are operating successfully in Egypt. The Power Machines company is undertaking a project involving the technical re-equipment and renewal of the Aswan power plant, LUKOIL is participating in the exploration of oil and gas deposits, Gazprom is pursuing its projects, as well as other companies, including construction companies. Egypt is a gas-producing nation. In July of this year, Moscow will be holding a forum for gas-exporting countries. We would welcome the participation of Mr President himself or his representatives. We are developing cooperation in nuclear energy. We have agreed to renew the work of the Intergovernmental Commission, with the aim of developing economic cooperation. We will strive to maintain the regular rhythm of its work. Egypt is among the three most popular destinations for Russian holidaymakers. In spite of certain difficulties, the number of Russian tourists to Egypt is growing. Last year, this number grew by 35 percent, to more than two million visitors. In March of this year, the relevant Russian and Egyptian agencies signed a corresponding protocol aimed at assuring security for our citizens in Egypt. We expect that the Egyptian authorities will give this matter the necessary level of attention, just as they did before. We are broadening scientific and student contacts. We will continue to encourage this type of cooperation. We discussed many difficult international issues in detail. Egypt is an influential Arabic state, whose opinion is respected throughout the entire Middle East. Naturally, we also discussed the problems in Syria. Russia and Egypt agree on the need for a political and legal solution to the Syrian crisis without external intrusion. We support a soonest ceasefire and the launch of intra-Syrian talks. We share many convergences in our approaches to settling the Arab-Israeli conflict. We believe it is important to activate the work of the ‘Quartet’ of international mediators, with involvement and cooperation by the League of Arab States. In conclusion, I would like to note that our talks today were very detailed, very topical and productive. I would like to thank all our colleagues, all our friends from Egypt and, first and foremost, Mr President, for accepting our invitation and coming to Russia, as well as for the positive atmosphere in which we conducted our work today. Thank you. President of Egypt Mohammed Morsi (re-translated): Thank you, Mr President. In the name of Allah, the Compassionate! Your Excellency President Putin, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to say how happy I am to be in the Russian Federation today, to make this visit here. This is an important country that has developed a long, historical bilateral friendship with Egypt. Egyptians are committed to the development and expansion of these relations, strengthening them and searching for new opportunities for bilateral cooperation. I was fortunate to meet with President Putin three weeks ago in South Africa. It was a very warm meeting and today's visit is a continuation of the fruitful and important talks that took place in Durban, South Africa. I would like to emphasise that the talks I held with President Putin today were very successful and fruitful. They showed great opportunities and untapped potential for both sides, which still require our efforts to be used to the full and to maximise the benefits for both nations, especially in the area of expanding trade between us, as well as attracting Russian investments in the Egyptian market and promoting and developing cooperation in various fields, particularly in the energy sector. Today we discussed different areas of energy cooperation, including oil, gas, and peaceful atom which can be used to generate electricity for seawater desalination. We also talked about the development of bilateral economic relations. We agreed to continue our consultations, talks and discussions on regional and international issues. We also agreed to do our utmost to expand mutual cooperation and continue dialogue at various levels, and to raise our relationship to a new level in various fields. In this regard, we agreed to bring forward the meeting of the intergovernmental commission, which is the appropriate mechanism for keeping track of what we have agreed, and for the implementation of the proposals and ideas that have been reviewed at the Egyptian-Russian summit today. President Putin and I have also touched on regional issues, particularly the Syrian crisis. This issue has taken a special place in our talks. We tried to find a way to resolve the crisis as quickly as possible. I appreciate Russia’s position on the crisis settlement and resolution, which is close to the Egyptian position on this issue. I would also like to emphasise and confirm that the Russian-Egyptian relations will be raised to a new level in the near future and will be based on respect for mutual interests, the prospects and potential of our two countries given that we have numerous opportunities to expand our relations and integrate our efforts in many fields: the economy, politics, research and trade, both on the regional and international levels. Your Excellency, Mr President! Our interest in the development and strengthening of our relations with the Russian Federation is based on our respect for Russia as a great nation, a prominent power, and Russia’s position in the international arena. It is part of our strategy to strengthen cooperation with friendly countries, including Russia which has expressed an interest in building ties with our country after the revolution of January 25, 2011, in support of the Egyptian people in realising their ambitions and goals which are aimed at economic development and improving the standard of living. In this regard, it is my pleasure to invite you to visit our country, at any time convenient for you, so that we can continue our bilateral dialogue and follow up and monitor the implementation of projects and agreements we have reached. We have high hopes for their implementation for the benefit of our two nations and our bilateral relations. Once again, I want to take this opportunity to express my deep respect and gratitude to you for the warm welcome and hospitality you extended to myself and my colleagues, the members of the Egyptian delegation, during our stay in your friendly country, as well as my appreciation for your earnest and sincere commitment to developing our cooperation and our relationship, which I felt during out fruitful talks. Thank you, Mr President, thank you very much. Assalamu alaikum! Vladimir Putin: Thank you.