Economic agreements anticipated during Portuguese president's visit to Egypt

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Wednesday - 11 April 2018


CAIRO – 11 April 2018: Several economic and trade agreements are expected to be signed between Egypt and Portugal during the three-day visit of President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa of Portugal that starts on Wednesday April 11. 

According to a statement issued Wednesday by Egypt's State Information Service (SIS), de Sousa is expected to meet with his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, on Thursday. This will be the first visit for a Portuguese president to Egypt in 24 years. De Sousa was elected as president in 2016. 

This visit comes per Sisi's invitation to his Portuguese counterpart during a visit to Lisbon in 2016. Sisi then called to strengthen the relations between the two countries. 

The SIS statement affirmed that this visit will be a great chance for both countries to enhance their economic, political, diplomatic and cultural cooperation. Egypt and Portugal are members of the Union for the Mediterranean intergovernmental organization, which includes 43 countries from Europe and the Mediterranean Basin. 

The two countries' geographical locations could offer them great opportunities to develop their cooperation on different levels, SIS statement explained; direct shipping lines between both countries are more likely to be established soon. 

According to the Portugal news website, both former Portuguese presidents Ramalho Eanes and Mário Soares visited Egypt in 1983 and 1994 and were welcomed by former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who was toppled by January 25 revolution in 2011. This is, however, de Sousa’s first visit to Egypt since being elected in 2016. 

De Sousa is expected to meet with Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayyeb, Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria and Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal. He is also scheduled to attend the Egyptian-Portuguese Business Forum on Thursday April 12, with a number of Egyptian and Portuguese businessmen.