President Abdel Fattah El Sisi received Wednesday Burundi’s President Evariste Ndayishimiye at Ettahadiya Palace where the official reception ceremony was held, the honor guard was displayed and the national anthems were played.
Sisi and Ndayishimiye held individual discussions, followed by expanded discussions between the delegations of the two countries. The Egyptian president welcomed his Burundian counterpart on his first official visit to Cairo, expressing his appreciation for the close historical relations, joint cooperation and unity of visions that bind the two countries.
Sisi stressed Egypt’s keenness to strengthen relations and consolidate strategic cooperation with Burundi in various fields, especially at the economic, commercial, security, and military levels, in addition to arranging for a joint committee between the two countries to be held as soon as possible.
President Sisi also affirmed Egypt’s keenness to support Burundi’s developmental needs, especially in the sectors of infrastructure, electricity, health, mining and agriculture, by maximizing the investments of specialized Egyptian companies that have acquired long experience and expertise in these fields, as well as transferring expertise and building capabilities through courses and grants.
For his part, Ndayishimiye expressed his country’s great appreciation for its long and distinguished historical relations with Egypt, stressing Burundi’s keenness to develop these relations in various fields, especially trade and economic cooperation, in line with the depth and distinction of political relations between the two countries, as well as his country’s interest in maximizing the technical support provided by Egypt.
The Burundian president also praised the pivotal role that Egypt plays in the region in terms of maintaining peace and security, lauding in this regard the Egyptian positions aimed at achieving stability in the Great Lakes region, East Africa and the Nile Basin.
The meeting touched on discussions about the latest regional developments of mutual interest, especially with regard to the issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) as it was agreed to intensify coordination between the two countries during the coming period on this sensitive and vital issue, according to Presidency Spokesperson Bassam Rady.
“Sisi stressed the utmost importance of the water issue for the Egyptian people as a national security issue,” Rady added.
Thus, Egypt adheres to its water rights by reaching a legal agreement that includes clear rules for the process of filling and operating the dam.
At the conclusion of the discussions; the two presidents witnessed the signing ceremony of a number of memoranda of understanding in the fields of integrated water resources management in Burundi, and the mutual exemption of entry visas for holders of official passports, media, education, tourism, and culture.