File- Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi - Reuters
CAIRO – 3 September 2018: Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is set to conclude his Asian tour by visiting Uzbekistan within the next few days. Sisi’s current international tour includes the Asian states of Bahrain, China and Uzbekistan, respectively.
Sisi is currently in his second stop, China, in a visit that was described by Xinhua News Agency as “historic.”
Sisi’s scheduled visit to Uzbekistan’s capital of Tashkent is considered the first official visit of its kind by an Egyptian president to the Asian country, according to presidential spokesman Bassam Radi. During the visit, the presidents of the two states are expected to sign a number of agreements regarding mutual cooperation in various fields.
Egypt Today displays a summary of the bilateral relations between Egypt and Uzbekistan since the latter was recognized independent.
The two countries share strong bilateral relations, including religious, cultural and political relations. Only four months after Uzbekistan had announced its independence on August 31, 1991, Egypt recognized the independence of the Central Asian nation.
The 35-year old Soviet Union consisted of 15 republics including Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Armenia.
In January 1992, Kamal al-Ganzory, then deputy prime minister, visited Tashkent, where a mutual statement to establish diplomatic relations between the two nations was signed.
In December of the same year, Islam Karimov, former Uzbek president, visited Cairo on the head of a high-level delegation.
During the visit, an agreement establishing the relations and cooperation means between the two countries was signed. In addition, an economic and scientific cooperation agreement was signed, besides agreements for air transport and investment.
In May 1993, Egypt opened its embassy in Tashkent. In September of the same year, an agreement concerning Islamic affairs was signed between the two states. The Uzbek Embassy in Cairo was officially opened in 1995.
The two states shared healthy relations along the 21st century.
Addressing a ceremony marking the 26th anniversary of the Independence Day of Uzbekistan on Wednesday, Uzbek Ambassador in Cairo Oybek Usmanov voiced his country's condemnation of all terrorist attacks in Egypt and expressed his solidarity with the victims' families.
Uzbekistan sees eye to eye with the vision of Sisi on the counter-terrorism war, Usmanov said. He expressed confidence that Egypt will realize more achievements under the leadership of President Sisi, especially in view of the recent economic reforms.
The Egyptian and Uzbek foreign ministries will work on boosting bilateral cooperation at all levels in the coming period, Usmanov added.
Trade relations between the two countries valued at about $1.5 million in 2016, according to former Egyptian Industry and Foreign Trade Minister Tarek Kabil, a value that does not seem satisfying for such nations holding long-standing relationships.
Uzbekistan ranks 111th in terms of investments volume, which reached $670,000 through 13 companies, Kabil said, calling on Uzbekistani investors to participate in the available investment opportunities in Egypt.
In a meeting with Usmanov, Kabil said that the investors can benefit from the huge incentives offered to foreign investors through a network of free trade agreements signed with a number of countries and economic blocs.
Usmanov also expressed his country’s willingness to boost economic relations with Egypt, due to being “one of the most important countries in the Middle East and Africa," according to the statement.
In February 2018, a delegation of Uzbek businessmen visited Egypt to discuss current cooperation in the fields of engineering between the two states and push forward the bilateral economic relations.
In August, the former Alexandria governor received the Uzbek Foreign Trade Minister Jamshid Khodjaev, where the latter said that the visit affirms his keenness to establish and support cooperation and exchange of trade and industrial experience.
In April 1992, Uzbek government signed a cooperation agreement with the Egyptian Sugar and Integrated Industries Company (ESIIC), subordinate of the Egyptian government-owned Food Industries Holding Company. In June 1996, the two states signed a cooperation agreement in the field of agriculture.
Subsequently, the currently known as Uzbek-Egyptian Joint committee for Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation was established. In August 2018, Khodjaev met with a number of Egyptian ministers, including Sahar Nasr, the minister of investment and international cooperation and Rania al-Mashat, the minister of tourism. During the meeting, officials discussed preparations for the 7th session of the joint committee.
In August, 2018, Khodjaev meets with a number of Egyptian ministers to discuss preparations for the 7th session of the joint committee – Press photo Cultural relations
On Wednesday, Egyptian Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem met with Ambassador Usmanov to discuss ways to promote cultural cooperation between the two states.
Egypt was invited to participate in the International Forum of Maqom Art, which will be held from Sept. 6 to 10 in Shakhrisabz, Uzbekistan.
During the meeting, Abdel Dayem expressed her pleasure with the invitation to the forum, stressing on the strong relations between Egypt and Uzbekistan. The minister welcomed the attempt of Uzbekistan to hold mutual events, referring to the successful activities presented by Uzbekistan and the possibility of holding a mutual art project to deepen the ties between the two countries.
In the same context, Usmanov said that the Egyptian civilization is known for its arts and culture; hence, his country seeks to create more opportunities to cooperate and participate in several events and activities organized by Egypt.
By the end of the meeting, Abdel Dayem was granted a commemorative shield reflecting the Uzbek artistic character.
Additional reporting by Egypt Today Staff