Egypt's Sisi to visit Putin for bilateral ties, regional issues

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-15 05:06:59|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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CAIRO, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will start a three-day state visit to Russia next Monday during which he will hold talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

The two leaders will discuss "ways of enhancing distinguished bilateral relations at all levels," Egypt's presidential spokesman Bassam Rady said in the statement on Sunday.

He added that Sisi and Putin will also go through a number of regional and international issues of mutual concerns.

Rady pointed out that the Egyptian president will deliver a speech at Russia's Federation Council where "will be the first time for a foreign head of state to deliver a speech."

Nourhan al-Sheikh, a political science professor at Cairo University, expects the talks to involve key regional issues such as the recent developments in war-torn Syria and Libya.

"The war in Yemen is also very important and it could be on the agenda of Sisi-Putin talks," Al-Sheikh told Xinhua.

At the bilateral level, the Egyptian-Russian military cooperation is among the topics to be discussed during Sisi's visit, according to the professor.

She expected the talks to discuss the project of Egypt's first nuclear power plant that will be built by Russia as well as the vast Russian industrial zone agreed to be established in Egypt's Suez Canal region.

Putin visited Cairo in December 2017 when he and Sisi witnessed the signing of the agreement to build Egypt's nuclear power station.

Egypt was Russia's hot tourist destination before October 2015 when a Russian passenger plane crashed in Egypt, killing all 224 people on board, mostly Russians.

The crash was later claimed by the Islamic State.

Moscow then suspended all direct flights between Russia and Egypt until it resumed direct flights only between the two capital cities earlier this year. Flights to other Egyptian cities remain on hold.

"Besides economic and trade topics, the two leaders will surely discuss the resumption of Russian direct flights to Egypt's resort cities of Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurgada," Al-Sheikh added.