President Tran Dai Quang (second, left) and his spouse were welcomed by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi and his wife (Photo: VNA)

Cairo (VNA) – President Tran Dai Quang held talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi on August 27 as part of his ongoing five-day State visit to the Arabian country.

The Egyptian President lauded his Vietnamese counterpart’s visit, affirming that it will help promote the bilateral traditional friendship and all-round cooperation.

Both leaders briefed each other on the current situation in each country, showing their pleasure at the recent progress of bilateral relations with the success of the first meeting of the Sub-Committee on Trade and Industry Cooperation in Egypt in April 2018 to realise the outcomes of the Inter-Governmental Committee’s fifth meeting in August 2017.

Through the mechanisms, Vietnam and Egypt agreed on specific measures to strengthen their cooperation in various fields, they said, noting that in the first half of 2018, two-way trade reached 230 million USD, a surge of 44.5 percent year-on-year.

President Tran Dai Quang expressed his delight at the attainments that Egypt has gained over the past few years under the leadership of President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, positioning Egypt as one of the leading economies in Africa with a GDP of nearly 1.2 trillion USD and growth of over 5 percent.

He congratulated President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi for being re-elected as president, saying that he believes Egypt will go on to gain greater achievements, and maintain socio-economic stability and economic growth for a more prosperous country.

He proposed that Vietnam and Egypt maintain regular meetings between senior leaders; encourage delegation exchanges among ministries, sectors, and localities; and promoting cooperation at multilateral forums, especially within the framework of the UN, South-South Cooperation, Non-Aligned Movement, and the Francophone.

The Vietnamese leader suggested that Egypt, as a member of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, act as a bridge for ASEAN countries, including Vietnam, to get closer to the African Union and its members.

Egypt should remove trade barriers and create favourable conditions for Vietnamese goods to access its market, especially in terms of farm produce, aquatic products, and construction materials, while finalising legal procedures to approve the Double-Taxation Avoidance Agreement signed with Vietnam in March 2006, he asked.

The Vietnamese President welcomes Egypt to send its puppetry artists to the country to perform in November this year within activities to celebrate the 55th founding anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.

The two countries should maintain the effective implementation of their cultural cooperation programme in the 2017-2021 period and the tourism affiliation programme throughout the 2017-2019 period.

He thanked Egypt for coordinating with and creating optimal conditions for the Vietnamese Embassy to launch television programmes and seminars to honour late President Ho Chi Minh, who visited Egypt three times.

For his part, President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi said that with its position connecting Asia, Africa, and Europe, Egypt is willing to help Vietnamese goods access the Egyptian market, including the upcoming launch of the Halal trade standard programme and supporting Vietnamese officials in learning Halal standards for goods exported to Muslim markets, including Egypt.

Egypt will strengthen bilateral collaboration in recognising each other’s flora and fauna quarantine measures for farm produce and seafood.

The two leaders also concurred to increase delegation exchanges and experience sharing in security, defence, economy, trade, investment, culture, sports, tourism, agriculture, transportation, and locality-to-locality cooperation, with particular focus on promoting economic partnerships for the target of 1 billion USD in bilateral trade in the next five years.

The two sides welcomed the signing of a cooperation deal between Ninh Binh province of Vietnam and Luxor city of Egypt, laying the foundation for other localities to set up partnerships.

Vietnam and Egypt will maintain scholarship programmes for Vietnamese students to study the Arabic language in Egypt, they agreed, assigning ministries, sectors, and localities of both sides to effectively realise the signed agreements in the field.

Both leaders agreed to maintain close affiliation at multilateral forums and in global matters such as anti-terrorism and sustainable use of water resources.

At the talks, the two Presidents witnessed the signing of a number of important cooperation deals between ministries, sectors, localities, and enterprises, including a memorandum of understanding between Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and Egypt’s Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, and another between the two trade and industry ministries.

After the signing ceremony, President Tran Dai Quang and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah Al Sisi met the media.

Later the same day, the Egyptian President hosted a banquet for his Vietnamese guest.–VNA