by Ahmed Shafiq, Emad al-Azraq
CAIRO, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping's invitation to his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, to attend the Group of 20 (G20) summit to be held in China in September reflects the uniqueness of the China-Egypt relationship, an Egyptian official has said.
In a recent interview with Xinhua, Ahmed Abu Zaid, spokesperson for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, said the China-Egypt ties have been upgraded to a comprehensive strategic partnership with frequent exchange of visits between leaders and high-ranking officials of the two countries.
"All this reflects that there is a strategic vision (shared by the two countries) and it is in their common interests to develop these relations and face challenges regionally and internationally," he said. "This also reflects China's keenness to stand by Egypt economically at this very critical time as China supports investment projects in Egypt."
The G20 has special importance because it is a forum for major world economies to meet annually to discuss the economic challenges facing the international community, Abu Zaid said.
During his visit to Egypt in January, President Xi invited President Sisi to attend the G20 Summit in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou in September.
Meanwhile, Abu Zaid said that the global economy is now facing a major recession. "That is why the G20 summit is very important for every participating country; it helps us get knowledge about the recent developments and challenges facing the world economy."
Attending the summit gives Egypt a chance to face these challenges, he said, adding that the summit would allow Egypt's president to present his country's economic megaproject during his meetings with world leaders.
The Egyptian government's ambitious economic programs and megaprojects require many resources that come through foreign investment, loans or grants, Abu Zaid said.
"This also requires strong ties between Egypt and investment partners and China comes atop of them all as it is a main investment partner and a donor country to Africa and many Arab countries," he said.
"He (Sisi) can use it (G20) to tell the major economies about investment chances in Egypt as well as what the country needs to accomplish its investment plans," he said.
"We are very thankful that China has invited us and given Egypt this chance. This clearly reflects that China is aware of Egypt's role and weight in the Middle East and its influence in the world economy," Abu Zaid said.