The Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs was keen on becoming familiar with the various sides of Egypt’s relations with leading states that have influenced the region’s affairs. The Ambassador of Russia in Cairo, Mr. Serge Karbacinko, was invited to deliver a lecture on the 10th of April 2016 under the title “The Present and Future of Russian-Egyptian Relations, and Moscow’s view on the state of the Middle East region”.
Ambassador Dr. MounirZahran, the Chairman of the Council, and Ambassador Dr. EzzatSaad, the executive director of the council, commenced the symposium by welcoming all attendees and continued to speak about the development in cooperation between the two states since the Era of the Soviet Union in terms of its approach to bilateral relations with Russia.
The Russian Ambassador touched on military cooperation between the two states, noting that it is running exceptionally. Mr. Ambassador also mentioned the state of economic cooperation between the two states in terms of a project to establish a Russian industrial zone, which is likely to be planned to be in the Suez Canal’s industrial area. The location of the project is still to be determined as well as the other projects under research.
Ambassador Abdel Raouf El-Ridi prefaced the list of commentators and mentioned that the Russian Ambassador’s presentation was clear cut stating “I wish to present my own point of view concerning the previous era which witnessed strong relations on a global level leading to the end of colonialism and the Soviet Union’s cooperation with Egypt in the UNGA resolution No. 1514 article 10. Currently, an important issue links us , which is combatting terrorism. Both states must cooperate to bring about its end. This intellectual chaos may lead to the possibility of utilizing weapons of mass destruction. We are not going to search for the reasons behind this extremism that does not belong to any religion. I simply want to stress that the two countries have succeeded in the past in defeating colonialism and therefore they must cooperate to resolve extremism.”
Ambassador Saad presented the role of Russia in the region’s crises especially the Syrian crisis and the Libyan issue as well as the coordination and consultation between Cairo and Moscow that occur with regards to these crises especially given their mutual framework concerning combatting terrorism.
Focusing on the Arab-Israeli conflict, Ambassador Saad expressed regression in this regard while noting that it remains the primary issue on a national scale and that the two states exchange their common views in this regard continuously. In his speech before the council members, Ambassador Karbacinkospoke about Russian-Egyptian relations and the momentum it has gained after the 30th of June 2016 revolution and the election of president El Sisi. He pointed to the economic and commercial cooperation as well as the exchange of services represented through the movement of Russian tourists in Egypt. Mr. Ambassador also noted a contract to establish a nuclear power plant to generate electricity in Egypt while noting that Egypt has received unprecedented financial aid from the Russian government to establish this plant.
The Russian ambassador concluded the issue noting that the cooperation between the two states is strong, continuous, and concise that visits are constant and effective.
Council members presented their contributions and Mr. Ambassador responded accordingly.There were contributions from Ambassador Nabil El-Oraby and Dr. Amira Al-Shanawany and Ambassador Rakha Hassan; all of them generated different aspects concerning the bilateral relations between Egypt and Russia and Moscow’s stance on the region’s affairs and global issues. All attendees acknowledged the need to promote and develop the relations between the two states on the basis of mutual interest.