Walaa Abostit – Cairo
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister and Presidential Envoy to the Middle East Mikhail Bogdanov in Moscow, along with a host of other Russian Foreign Ministry officials.
Shoukry was scheduled to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov but this meeting had to be cancelled after Lavrov had to self-isolate after having come into contact with someone with Covid-19 a short time before the Egyptian foreign minister arrived in Moscow. Shoukry and Bogdanov had discussions on a number of bilateral issues, including joint projects between the two countries, noted Egypt’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Hafez. Projects under discussion included a Russian industrial zone that has been constructed in the Suez Canal region in Egypt and a nuclear power plant in the northwestern part of the country.
The two officials reportedly also discussed joint coordination on ‘terrorism and extremism’ related issues, both at the bilateral and multilateral levels, and regional issues and developments, especially those affecting the security and stability of the Middle East region, were high on the agenda. Shoukry briefed Bogdanov about Egypt’s initiatives regarding the conflict in Libya. The Egyptian minister reportedly stated that a political solution had to be negotiated in light of the recommendations of the Berlin conference on Libya and Security Council Resolution 2510. The Russian and Egyptian sides welcomed the ceasefire agreement that had been reached in Geneva recently by military officials from eastern and western Libya.
Shoukry and Bogdanov also reportedly discussed means through which a political settlement to the conflict in Syria could be reached. Shoukry supported a negotiated solution in keeping with Security Council Resolution 2254.