Egyptian President El-Sisi visits Baku and Yerevan

The President of Egypt Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has visited both Azerbaijan and Armenia over the weekend, on back-to-back official visits to Baku and Yerevan.

President El-Sisi first arrived in Baku on 27 January where he was met by Azerbaijan’s First Deputy Prime Minister Yagub Eyyubov, Deputy Foreign Minister Fariz Rzayev and other officials. 

El-Sisi also had a one-on-one meeting with the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, followed by an expanded meeting between the two presidents and officials from both countries. After this the two sides signed agreements on cooperation in water resource management, culture, and the economy.

In a press statement, President Aliyev said:

"We have extensively discussed commercial and economic issues [...] Areas have also been identified – pharmaceuticals, industrial sectors, aluminum industry, energy, oil industry, including renewables. There are great opportunities here too [...] I am sure that the successful development of our bilateral relations will be very useful for our nations and states. At the same time, it will bring additional stability to our regions. Because no country can develop successfully without stability."

On his part, President El-Sisi said:

"The negotiations between our delegations took place in a very nice and positive environment. I would like to strengthen our efforts to develop relations between our countries. We want to continue the political dialogue between our countries for the benefit of both peoples, and we are interested in the development of bilateral cooperation in various fields. Considering the religious and historical closeness of our peoples, we intend to further develop our relations in the economic, trade and cultural fields."

President El-Sisi's Visit to Armenia

President El-Sisi then travelled to Yerevan later on 28 January, being met at Yerevan Zvartnots International Airport by Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Khachatryan, Head of the President's Office Khachatur Poghosyan, and other officials.

Following an official welcoming ceremony on 29 January, President El-Sisi had a private conversation with Armenian President Vahagn Khachaturyan, followed by an expanded meeting with delegations from both countries. The Egyptian and Armenian delegations also signed memoranda of understanding on cooperation in science and technology, investment and free trade, and culture, education and sports. The two presidents also discussed obstacles to tourism between their two countries, and the possibility of establishing flights between Yerevan and Cairo.

Speaking to the press, President Vahagn Khachaturyan said:

"It is no secret that Egypt is a superpower in its region, and it is well-known that it has a solid experience regarding mediation missions, and most importantly, it is a country that implements the ideology of peace, lives and coexists with its neighbours peacefully. In this respect, we are very similar to one another, for the policy of the Republic of Armenia is the same: to reach peace in the region, and live a peaceful and prosperous life with the neighbours. I have no doubts that we need the experience of Egypt, too. Once again, thank you for the visit. I am confident that our today’s meetings will be effective and will contribute to the development of the relations between our countries."

President El-Sisi said in reply:

"Up to these days, Egypt is witnessing different regional issues and conflicts, and it is important to note that starting from the 70s of the last century, Egypt has taken the path of peace and has faced numerous obstacles along the way..."

El-Sisi also offered Egypt as a potential mediator between Azerbaijan and Armenia, adding: "During our private meeting, I mentioned that we have a neutral position regarding the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, and in this respect, if you accept our mediation and would like us to assume the role of mediators, we are ready."

President El-Sisi also met Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on 29 January where they discussed further bilateral cooperation on trade, combatting illegal migration, terrorism, and developments in the Russian-Ukrainian war and its global economic repercussions.

During the visit, the Foreign Minister of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan also had a separate meeting with the Foreign Minister of Egypt Sameh Shukri.

President El-Sisi returned to Egypt on Sunday evening. 

source: with agencies, governments of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Egpyt
photo: Reuters