n the run-up to the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi, Vladimir Putin met with President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, African Union Chairman and Co-Chairman of the Russia-Africa Summit Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, friends,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to Russia.
At the beginning of our meeting, I would like to thank you for your support during our preparations for the summit’s events that involve the heads of state and government from African states and Russia, and which are scheduled to take place today and tomorrow. We are hosting such a large-scale event for the first time, and your support was vitally important and timely.
As for our bilateral relations, they continue to develop very successfully. In 2018, our trade increased by 14 percent and reached $7.7 billion. We continue to implement ambitious projects that have been coordinated by us, including a nuclear power plant and an industrial zone in Egypt. We are working very actively in these areas, and we are planning to invest $190 million in infrastructure development projects and to attract up to $7 billion.
By the way, I have recently visited our common friends in the United Arab Emirates. They became extremely interested in our joint project and will also think of how to become involved in our joint industrial development plans.
We have many infrastructure and transport projects.
Mr President, we maintain constant personal contacts: this is our third meeting in 2019. Cooperation between our foreign ministries and security services includes a broad range of issues on the international agenda, the fight against terrorism and organised crime.
We are very happy to see you. Welcome.
President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (retranslated): Thank you very much, Mr President.
First of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation for your hospitality and the warm welcome I have been given in this wonderful city of Sochi.
Mr President, I would like to thank you for holding the first Russia-Africa Summit. Our relations have a long history in many fields and spheres, starting with Russia’s support to the liberation movement in Africa. I would like to say that we are interested in coordinating our efforts with Russia so as to ensure the success of both the summit and the forum. We strongly hope that thanks to the contribution from many African countries we will attain practical results in the interests of all countries and parties based on mutually beneficial cooperation.
I would like to point out that we view Russia as a reliable partner of the African continent. We hope very much that Russia will be working in Africa in all spheres and fields, including in that of the development, as well as in the financing of infrastructure projects on the continent and in particular in energy and road construction.
As for bilateral relations, Mr President, I would like to assure you of our high appreciation of our bilateral relations, which are developing in various formats, especially after we signed a comprehensive cooperation agreement. We sincerely hope that our relations will continue to develop in all fields and spheres.
I would like to speak about the spheres where we will be working together. Speaking about the Russian Industrial Zone, we have a strong interest in accelerating the implementation of this project in the Suez Canal Economic Zone. We also want to settle all the outstanding problems, so that Russian companies and enterprises come to Egypt, register and start working in this zone.
We highly appreciate our bilateral relations in the sphere of railway lines and the manufacturing of train carriages in Egypt. We hope very much that the Russian company concerned will be able to work in Egypt, especially after it has delivered 1,300 carriages to the country.
As for the nuclear power plant, we set a high value on our bilateral cooperation. We strongly hope that all topics related to this project will be settled without delay so that we can start implementing the project in accordance with the signed contract.
Mr President, I would like to invite you to visit Egypt once again so as to be able to attend the ground-breaking ceremony of this vital project and also to attend the signing of the contract on the Russian Industrial Zone in Egypt.
Mr President, we also hope that the Russian side will provide support to nuclear energy facilities in Egypt so that we can work and act in accordance with the approved schedule.
As for military cooperation, we have a strong interest in promoting our cooperation in this sphere, because we know that Russia has been a traditional partner in the field of military technical cooperation for many decades.