President Abdel Fattah El Sisi delivered a speech during a joint press conference with Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Wednesday; highlighting firm Egyptian-Spanish relations.
Here is the full text of Sisi’s speech:
“In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,
Mr. Pedro Sánchez,
Prime Minister of the Friendly Spanish Monarchy,
It gives me pleasure to welcome you and your accompanying delegation today, our honored guests, during your official visit. It comes as an expression of Egypt’s constant keenness to exchange visions, discuss ways to develop and deepen bilateral cooperation between our two friendly countries in various fields and hold consultations on regional and international issues of common interest.
I had fruitful and constructive discussions with His Excellency the Prime Minister of Spain which clearly reflected our common political will to strengthen cooperation between Egypt and Spain in various fields.
Thus, we can make optimum use of our capabilities to serve the interests of the two countries. We discussed ways to enhance bilateral relations, especially in the economic, trade, investment, cultural and tourism fields, in light of the close traditional friendship between the two countries.
We also affirmed our determination to broaden relations and expand bilateral cooperation between Egypt and Spain, so that Spain would become a key partner to Egypt. We are moving forward with steady steps on the path of development and progress.
In this context, I agreed with Mr. Sánchez on the importance of joint action to increase Spanish investments in Egypt. We stressed the need to take advantage of the great opportunities provided by the mega national projects that are being implemented in various parts of the country, especially in the fields of transportation, renewable energy, agriculture and others.
We further stressed the need to boost bilateral trade and achieve a balance of trade by providing an opportunity for increasing Egyptian exports to the Spanish market.
In this regard, it gives me great pleasure to commend the Egyptian-Spanish cooperation in many important investment and development projects; hence, new prospects are expected to open up through holding a business forum between representatives of the private sector from both countries during this visit.
Both the Spanish and the Egyptian prime ministers will participate in this forum that marks a constructive step forward in strengthening the ties between the Egyptian and Spanish private sectors and opening the door to new prospects of joint cooperation in the priority economic sectors.
I also discussed with His Excellency the Prime Minister ways to increase the flow of Spanish tourists in Egyptian tourist destinations, particularly in the governorates of South Sinai, the Red Sea, Marsa Matrouh, Luxor, and Aswan.
In this context, I briefed the Prime Minister on the strict health measures applied by Egypt to these ends, including the COVID-19 mass vaccination campaign conducted by the Egyptian government for those working in the tourism sector.
In this context, we have exchanged views regarding the health, economic, and social repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.
I reviewed efforts exerted by the State of Egypt and its various apparatuses to address this crisis, in which Egypt has succeeded to achieve a delicate balance between applying precautionary measures to contain the spread of the virus, on one hand, and securing the sustainability of economic activities and reinforcing social protection systems to address the economic and social impact of this pandemic, on the other.
This enabled Egypt to achieve positive economic growth rates in these difficult circumstances and to preserve the gains of the economic reform approach we have been following over the past years.
I may seize this opportunity to express to His Excellency, the Prime Minister, my sincere gratitude and appreciation for the anti-COVID-19 vaccines that Spain has provided us, thus setting a model for solidarity among countries facing the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.
It was a valued contribution by the Kingdom of Spain to support the broad and ambitious Egyptian vaccination campaign against COVID-19.
I was keen during my meeting with His Excellency, the Prime Minister of Spain, to discuss a multitude of regional and international issues of mutual interest. Those included the latest developments in the Renaissance Dam issue. I reiterated Egypt’s firm and unequivocal position, namely adhering to preserving Egypt’s water security now and in the future.
I also underscored the importance of reaching a comprehensive, fair and legally-binding agreement among Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia on the rules for the filling and operation of the Renaissance Dam, stressing the importance of pushing the international community in this direction and of supporting an effective negotiation process to achieve this objective.
I also exchanged views with His Excellency, the Prime Minister, on developments in our region in general, including those pertinent to the overall strategic situation in the Mediterranean Basin and our joint regional neighborhood.
I confirmed Egypt’s vision with regard to the importance of working on addressing tensions in troubled areas in the region, through solutions that restore stability, enhance the states’ ability to realize their peoples’ aspirations to live in security and freedom and achieve sustainable economic development.
Our discussions also tackled international efforts to address the impact of the phenomenon of climate change in addition to the outcome of the recent Glasgow Summit, notably in light of Egypt’s hosting of the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 27) to the UNFCCC next year.
I outlined to the Prime Minister of Spain our vision regarding the need for developing countries to assume their responsibilities in supporting developing countries to implement their international commitments as stipulated in the Paris Agreement, particularly with regard to supporting efforts toward adaptation to the negative impact of climate change in addition to funding climate action in developing countries.
I have also underlined Egypt’s determination to work with all partners during the coming period until the convening of the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 27), so as to ensure achieving balanced outcomes that serve the interest of international climate action and the implementation of the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Finally, allow me, Your Excellency, the Prime Minister, to once again welcome you and your accompanying delegation in Cairo, looking forward to more coordination and cooperation in the coming period between our countries so as to achieve prosperity and welfare for our friendly peoples.