By: Maye sadek
In his efforts to strengthen Egyptian foreign relation, the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi went on a tour to the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and India. El-Sisi’s first stop was the UAE where met the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, to discuss the crises in the Middle East and possible solutions.
Regarding the Middle East crisis, the officials discussed the Arab coalition support for the legitimate government in Yemen and its role regarding confronting the hostile situation in the country. They reviewed the coalition’s efforts to secure Bab Al-Mandeb Strait and promote the development of global trade.
Furthermore, both sides discussed the recent developments in the Palestinian issue and how to protect the Palestinian people from Israeli attacks. In addition, they analysed the Libyan crisis and the UN efforts to find a peaceful way to end the conflict.
El-Sisi also met with the Crown Prince of Dubai Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum and discussed the importance of enhancing cooperation between Egypt in UAE in various aspects including the economic and investment fields, to serve the interest of the both states.
El-Sisi’s next leg of the tour was India to attend the Third India-Africa Forum Summit. The president made a public speech in the Forum Summit in the presence of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday. El-Sisi expressed hopes that the summit will focus on fighting poverty, improving healthcare, and developing education within its target goals in accordance with African Union Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development announced in New York in September.
“India is one of the most important examples of cooperation between countries working for the well-being of developing ones. It contributed to a transition in economic and technical fields of cooperation with Africa since 2008,” El-Sisi said. “Given the many obstacles against development in Africa, we have to cooperate in conflict resolution and reinforce African Solutions for African Problems (ASAP) with Indian partnership as major contribution.”
El-Sisi praised Egypt’s non-permanent membership acquired at the UN Security Council, as a representative of the African continent and that “developing countries must work on strengthening their positions in the international scene and decisions.”
He highlighted the importance of African-Indian coordination regarding negotiations on climate change, ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference, which will be held in Paris in December, where El-Sisi aims to push forward Africa’s and other developing countries’ needs.
Mukherjee expressed appreciation to El-Sisi’s visit, calling it “the foundation for a new era of partnership between India and Egypt”. Mukherjee said India is the sixth largest trading partner and third largest export destination of Egypt and both countries have a history of working together for peace and development in the world. “The development of new industrial zones around the new Suez Canal provides an opportunity to strengthen economic ties,” Mukhejree said.
Then El-Sisi headed to Bahrain to meet with King Hamad bin Issa Al-Khalifa for another round of bilateral talks. The president met with German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen in Manama, Bahrain during his visit.
The German minister praised El-Sisi’s last visit to Berlin in June, saying it strengthened cooperation between the two countries. She also expressed Germany’s wish to advance cooperation between Egypt in both the military and the economic fields, according to presidential spokesman Alaa Yousef.
El-Sisi also confirmed Egypt’s keenness to enhance bilateral relations between the two countries in all fields, and expressed his appreciation for Germany’s encouragement of all Egyptian initiatives. He praised the performance of German companies in Egypt.
Meanwhile, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi participated in the opening of the annual International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Manama Dialogue. Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa had noted that El-Sisi’s participation confirms Egypt’s vital role in Middle East issues. During the dialogue, El-Sisi discussed the situation in Libya, Syria, Palestine and Yemen, stressing the necessity of limiting conflicts due to their serious impact on the Middle East’s security. He stressed on finding political solutions to solve the crises through the cooperation.
Throughout El-Sisi’s tour to the UAE and Bahrain, he was eager to highlight Egypt’s efforts to safeguard the security of Gulf States. “Bahrain is currently witnessing tensions between its leaders and opposition parties; therefore Egypt’s presence in the Manama dialogue is essential to strengthen relations,” political scientist Hassan Nafaa told Daily News Egypt.
Egypt’s alliance with Saudi Arabia to support “legitimacy in Yemen” is also important for Egypt’s security and stability, since the Bab Al-Mandab strait is near the Suez Canal, while the security and stability of Gulf countries is essential to Egyptian national security, Nafaa added.
Also on Friday, Bahraini King Hamad Bin Issa Al-Khalifa met with El-Sisi to discuss the bilateral relations between Egypt and Bahrain. He highlighted ways to advance cooperation between the two countries in various fields and confirmed the importance of continuing the consultations and coordination between both countries.