BY TESFANEWS *
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi welcomed Tuesday morning his Eritrean Counterpart Isaias Afwerki at the presidential palace in Cairo, where the latter is visiting the country to discuss bilateral relations.
The welcoming ceremony of the Eritrean president saw the presence of the Egyptian guard of honor, while the national anthems of both countries were played at the background.
Meeting for the third time in Cairo, the two leaders will hold a tete-a-tete session of talks in a closed meeting at the Ittihadiya Palace, to be followed by a plenary session grouping the delegations of both sides, the official MENA news agency said.
Ambassador Bassam Radhi, Spokesman for the Presidency of the Republic, stated that the President welcomed the opening of the talks with President Afwerki, stressing Egypt’s interest in establishing strategic cooperation with Eritrea in all fields and establishing a sustainable partnership between the two countries.
He also stressed the importance of moving ahead with the implementation of cooperation projects in different sectors, including agriculture, electricity, health and trade, as well as in the livestock and fisheries sector, which is characterized by Eritrea, as well as continuing technical support programs provided through the Egyptian Agency for Partnership for Development.
The Eritrean government spokesperson on his part confirmed that, the two Presidents will discuss the growing trade and investment ties that developed between the two countries as well as regional and international issues of mutual importance.
Ambassador Bassam Radhi added that the Eritrean President affirmed his country’s pride in its ties with Egypt in terms of extended historical relations and strategic cooperation, praising Egypt’s pioneering role in the region and its keenness to achieve development, security and stability in the African continent.
President Afewerki also affirmed Eritrea’s aspiration to intensify bilateral cooperation with Egypt in various fields in the interests of the two brotherly peoples and to activate joint projects between the two countries in various sectors.
This particular visit comes amid tension between Egypt and Sudan over a border dispute.
Khartoum accuses Cairo of backing rebels in Sudan, a claim denied by Egypt, while Egyptian media criticize Sudanese authorities for supporting a mega Nile dam project being built by Ethiopia, which Cairo fears it would reduce its Nile water share.
Ambassador Bassam Radi finally said that the talks between President El-Sisi and President Afwerki dealt with means of enhancing Egyptian-Eritrean relations in various fields of development and security.
They both already agreed to exchange delegations’ visits with the aim of activating existing cooperation frameworks and implementing joint projects.
The two sides also agreed to continue their intensive coordination on all issues related to the current regional situation in order to strengthen security and stability in the region, especially in view of the importance of the Horn of Africa and the role of Eritrea, and the implications for the security of the Red Sea, and Bab al-Mandab area.