Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed meets President of Egypt Abdel Fattah El Sisi

Two discuss ways to strengthen relations

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Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi in Cairo on Wednesday.

They discussed ways to serve the interests of the two countries.

“It was a pleasure to meet Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi," Sheikh Mohamed tweeted.

"We discussed ways to strengthen our bilateral ties and develop areas of co-operation. We also considered issues of peace and stability in the region."

Mr El Sisi welcomed the UAE's admission to the EastMed Gas Forum as an observer, saying the move would give “added value” to the activities of the organisation and the strategic interests of its members.

The forum, established in January as an international organisation based in Cairo, groups Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, Jordan, Italy, Israel and Palestine.

Its primary objective is to co-ordinate efforts by member states to develop the Eastern Mediterranean into a global energy centre after the discovery of large amounts of natural gas.

Egypt's Presidential spokesman Bassam Al Rady said Sheikh Mohamed and Mr El Sisi also discussed developments in Libya, Syria, Yemen and Palestine, and the disputed Nile dam being built by Ethiopia.

The hydroelectric dam has been a source of concern for Egypt and Sudan.

Both downstream nations have been trying for a decade to persuade Addis Ababa to agree to a legally binding agreement on the operation of the dam and ways to handle persistent drought or resolve future disagreements.

“The discussion between the two leaders reflected their resolve to continue to work together in the face of threats that pose a danger to the security and stability of the region,” Mr Al Rady said.

“In this context, the president has re-emphasised Egypt’s steadfast position towards the security of the Gulf region as an extension of its own security, and the rejection of any practices that undermine its stability.”

Last year, Egypt was the UAE’s sixth-biggest trading partner in the region while the Emirates was Egypt’s second-leading trading partner.

Non-oil trade between the countries reached Dh20.1 billion ($5.47bn) in 2019, the UAE Ministry of Economy said.

The UAE ranks first globally in terms of investments in Egypt with total foreign direct investment reaching Dh24.3bn from 990 Emirati companies investing in Egypt at the end of 2018.

Meanwhile, Egypt ranks 28th globally in terms of FDI into the UAE, with total investments worth Dh3.3bn in the same period.