President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi during his visit Tanzania - Press Photo
CAIRO – 16 August 2017: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is first Egyptian president to visit Gabon since the establishment of relations between both countries that dates back to 1975, Egypt’s State Information Service (SIS) said in a report on Wednesday.
Sisi arrived to Gabon on Wednesday in his third stop of an African tour. The president began on Monday a four-day African tour of Tanzania, Rwanda, Gabon and Chad.
Sisi’s African tour reflects Egypt’s keenness to promote ties in different fields with neighboring countries important for Egyptian foreign policy.
Sisi is scheduled to hold talks with Gabonese officials on ways of boosting bilateral cooperation and issues of peace and security in Africa. Egypt and Gabon are keen to cooperate in security and counter-terrorism , develop common visions and coordinate bilateral positions to solve the African continent’s issues particularly those of interest to Central Africa.
Economic benefits are also expected to be part of the outcome of Sisi’s visit considering Gabon’s diverse natural resources in fields of mining, oil and wood of that could open investment opportunities between both countries.
Gabon plays an essential role in maintaining the political situation in the Central Africa region and is head of the Central Africa economic group with prospects of industrial and trades cooperation.
Moreover, there are also planned partnerships in fields of education, culture and health.
Diplomatic relations started between Egypt and Gabon when Egypt set up its embassy in Libreville, the capital of Gabon, 2 years after the visit of former Gabonese President Omar Bongo to Egypt in December 1973.
In February 2016, Gabonese president Ali Bongo visited Egypt and met with President Sisi, to discuss ways of enhancing bilateral relations and African issues of mutual interest. Both officials have signed medical and educational partnerships. In 2011, President Bongo was accompanied with Gabon’s prime minister, minister of education, economiy and health.
Throughout the recent years, Gabonese officials have visited Egypt with the aim of strengthening relations. In January 2016, Gabonese deputy prime minister, minister of health, minister of social solidarity paid an official visit to Egypt to meet with Egyptian ministers.