CAIRO – Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, signed an agreement Tuesday for the construction of Egypt’s first nuclear power plant, which will be located in Dabaa region in the northwest of the country.
In a joint press conference at the Presidential Palace in Cairo, the two leaders confirmed that they signed a memorandum of understanding during the Russian president’s official visit to Egypt and said the plant will be built after both parties make their “final decisions.”
Putin said that Russia is to assume responsibility for the entire project, including construction of the installation, staff training and scientific research.
“We signed bilateral agreements during the meeting with the aim of facilitating trade and energy cooperation, and especially with regard to the peaceful use of nuclear energy, which Egypt needs to meet its development needs, and which Russia has great experience at,” al-Sisi said.
The Egyptian president also stressed their intention of strengthening military cooperation “in the current circumstances” without giving further details or specifying what he meant.
Al-Sisi noted that Putin is seeking to promote Russian investments in Egypt, adding that Russia will participate in an international conference set for next March to “help the ailing Egyptian economy.”
The Egyptian president added that “Russia has shown courageous and supportive stances for Egypt and its people at critical times in the last two years,” while noting the Putin’s visit confirms Russia’s “solidarity with Egypt in its war against terrorism.”
“We consider Russia a strategic friend and a true asset for our balanced foreign relations,” al-Sisi said.
Both presidents agreed that counterterrorism “does not stop at any borders, and the prevalence of this phenomenon requires international synergy to confront it and deal with it through a comprehensive approach” which is not only limited to security issues but also must include its ideological and social perspective.
For his part Putin stressed that his talks with the Egyptian president focused on economic relations and bilateral trade which increased by 70 percent in 2014.
The Russian head of state added that he also discussed a number of potential investment targets and projects in the fields of aerospace, transportation and chemicals.
Putin said that 400 Russian companies are working now in Egypt, while three million Russian tourists visited Egypt last year, an increase of 50 percent in comparison to the previous year “due to the political stability that Egypt enjoys” under the leadership of President al-Sisi.