The newly elected Lebanese president Michel Aoun has arrived in Egypt on Monday afternoon for his first official visit since his inauguration for the sake of fostering relations with Egypt in all fields.
Following his arrival at Cairo International, Aoun met with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, and both held a press conference following their meeting in the headquarters of the Egyptian Presidency in the Heliopolis suburb.
During the press conference, broadcasted through the official Egyptian state-run channel, Al-Sisi asserted that Egypt will continue its support for Lebanon in all fields and that he is confident that Aoun’s presidency will foster the Lebanese cultural and political diversity that is based on compatibility between different political entities.
Al-Sisi noted that Egypt is in full readiness to support the capabilities of the Lebanese army and its different security apparatuses, and that bilateral discussion touched the counterterrorism efforts, the Syrian crisis, and the refugee crisis that Lebanon is currently suffering from.
“Egypt always sought to keep Lebanon stable, and it communicated with different Lebanese political entities to affirm that dialogue is the solution to all disputes. Egypt was among the first countries that welcomed the Lebanese people’s ability to reach political agreement that has been made in Lebanon without interference from external entities,” said Al-Sisi during his speech delivered in the press conference.
Moreover, he stressed that Egypt will do its best to keep Lebanon away from any tribulations that drag it into any religious or doctrinal conflicts that only aim to eliminate tolerance and diversity from the Arab world.
“We also discussed the current ongoing preparations executed for launching the upcoming Arab Summit that will take place in Jordan. I really appreciate President Aoun’s invitation to visit Lebanon, and I will be there soon,” Al-Sisi concluded in his speech.
On his turn, Lebanese president Michel Aoun noted during his speech that Egypt and Lebanon are connected by strong historical relations since the Arab renaissance, saying that all hopes are pinned on the role that Egypt can play by launching Arab initiatives to execute common strategy to counter terrorism.
“Egypt is capable of finding political solutions to the urgent crises in the Arab world, especially in Syria where the fire spread widely years ago and left its effects on Lebanon that manifested in the increase of Lebanon’s population by 50%,” Aoun added.
In January, Minister of Industry and Trade Tarek Kabil said that Egyptian exports to Lebanon increased by 65% during 2016 compared to 2015, adding that a lot of different fields benefited from the increase.
Construction materials manufacturers benefitted most from the hike in exports, as their exports increased by 225% to a record EGP 277m, Kabil said in a statement issued during a meeting with Lebanese agriculture minister Ghazi Zaiter, who was visiting Cairo. Both ministers discussed increasing Egypt’s exports of potatoes to 60,000 tonnes compared to 57,000 tonnes in 2015 worth $57m.