Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry holds a press conference with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, in Cairo - Courtesy of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry
CAIRO – 8 January 2020: Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Wednesday affirmed that Egypt cooperates with China in the Belt and Road Initiative, and that it has the ability to pursue common interests with the initiative on the basis of mutual respect, according to media reports.
In a press conference with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, in Cairo, Shoukry praised the initiative, saying it will significantly work to enhance peace and stability in the region.
The Belt and Road Initiative was launched by the Chinese government to enhance trade, investments, and infrastructure in more than 150 countries in Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. The initiative is a revival to what was known as “The Silk Road.”
Shoukry said that Egypt is considering strengthening joint efforts with the Chinese side and enhancing joint cooperation. He highlighted China’s role in providing grants to Egypt on the economic level.
The Egyptian minister also affirmed the strong political will for joint work with China, saying that Egypt seeks to achieve greater rapprochement with China.
For his part, Wang Yi asserted that his country fights terrorism and extremism in the Asian country, as China is mired in criticism over alleged human rights abuses against Muslim minority population in detention camps.
Wang Yi said that his country is taking legal measures in combating terrorism, noting that the measures have succeeded in eradicating extremism greatly. He also noted that China could make use of counter-terrorism experience of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
He noted that China has 24,000 mosques in one of its provinces, which he said indicates tolerance in the country.
In this regard, the Chinese minister warned against alleged attempts of some Western powers to tell lies against Beijing to spoil China's relationship with the Muslim world.
Concerning economic relations between Egypt and China, Yi said that there is an agreement to upgrade relations and strategic partnership between the two countries, noting that Chinese investment in Egypt increased by 60 percent.
Yi also noted that the two sides agreed to enhance cooperation in all fields, including in the free trade zone in the Suez Canal as well as many other projects.
Egypt and China also agreed to enhance cooperation in the field of combating terrorism, and exchanging experiences in promoting cooperation to combat extremism, Yi added.