Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said his country’s relations with the United Arab Emirates are “excellent,” and “will remain special,” during his first official visit to the Gulf state on Sunday.
In an interview with the Abu Dhabi TV Channel, Sisi described Egypt’s relationship with the UAE as “strong and balanced since it was founded by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan,” the official news agency (WAM) quoted him as saying. Sheikh Al Nahyan, the UAE’s first president, is considered to be the founding father of the federal Gulf state.
Sisi said that UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Emir of Abu Dhabi and the commander of the Union Defence Force, and his brothers had followed Sheikh Zayed’s path and ensured that relations between the UAE and Egypt must always remain special.
“The Egyptian people can talk about these relations better than any official, especially when it comes to talking about Sheikh Zayed and his sons,” Sisi added.
He also said that the two countries shared similar views regarding counter-terrorism.
“We share the same view that terrorism is a threat to the nations, to the reputation of the tolerant Islam and to all people.”
While dubbing Egypt’s stability as key to the region’s wider security, Sisi also sought to further attract UAE investment into that country, especially that Cairo is to hold a major economic conference in the coastal Sharm el-Sheikh on March 13.
Sisi, who is going to attend the 2015 World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, also said Emirati investors were eager to set up projects in Egypt after a meeting with them.
The president added that Egypt’s investment law, which is currently underway, would help to remove all obstacles and minimize red tape for potential investors.
While citing big mutual projects, including the UAE’s funding of the construction of 25 storage silos for wheat, and the building of 50,000 housing units – part of the UAE’s $4.9 billion aid package to Egypt, Sisi said his country’s young population, which makes up 30 percent, stand to gain from the projects.