Al-Sisi back from Russia

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President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi arrived today at Cairo International Airport after a two-day visit to Russia.

Al-Sisi’s first visit to Sochi was also his first official trip to a non-Arab or African state since he was sworn in as president on 8 June, and comes at the heels of his visit to Saudi Arabia.

In addition to discussing the situation in the Middle East and bilateral relations, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his country’s support for Egyptian efforts to counter the rising terrorism throughout the Middle East.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin talks to children as he walks with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi along an embankment at Rosa Khutor resort in Sochi, 12 August (photo: Reuters)

During the visit, Al-Sisi and his Russian counterpart concluded an agreement in which Russia will supply Egypt with 5.5 million tons of wheat this year and will increase imports of agricultural products from the North African country.

In the previous fiscal year of 2013/2014, Russia supplied Egypt with 3.6 million tons of wheat. Egypt is considered the largest importer of Russian wheat in the world.

Putin declared that Egypt is ready to increase agricultural goods exports to Russia by 30 per cent. This comes after Russia’s recent move to ban the importation of certain food products from Western countries.

President Al-Sisi and his Russian counterpart in Sochi (photo: Reuters)

Putin also discussed with Al-Sisi the possibility of the creation of a free trade zone with the Moscow-led Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

The presidents also discussed establishing an Egyptian transport logistics hub on the Russian Black Sea coast, and setting up a Russian industrial hub in Egypt as part of the new Suez Canal development project.