CAIRO: President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi received Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Cairo on Sunday.
Lavrov delivered a message from Russian President Vladimir Putin to El-Sisi that expressed the importance Moscow attaches to consolidating its ties with Egypt, the latter’s spokesman said.
Lavrov briefed El-Sisi on the latest developments in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. They also discussed cooperation in food supply and the oil and gas sector.
El-Sisi stressed the importance of prioritizing dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the Russia-Ukraine conflict in the interest of international security and stability, and expressed Cairo’s support for all such efforts.
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry also held talks with Lavrov on Sunday. The talks focused on ways to enhance bilateral relations in various fields, as well as regional and international issues of common concern.
Lavrov landed in Cairo on Saturday, at the beginning of his tour of Africa that will also include Ethiopia, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Lavrov reassured Egyptian leaders that their orders for Russian grain would be met, AFP reported.
“We confirmed the commitment of Russian exporters of cereal products to meet their orders in full,” Lavrov told a news conference after talks with Shoukry.
“President Vladimir Putin stressed this during a recent telephone call with the Egyptian president.”
Before Russia invaded Ukraine, the two countries accounted for 85 percent of wheat imports to Egypt, which has been heavily impacted by what Lavrov called “the so-called world food crisis” in an address to the Arab League in Cairo later on Sunday.
Lavrov met Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit and representatives of the 22 nations that make up the pan-Arab bloc.
The US has sought to isolate Russia on the global stage over its invasion of Ukraine, but has faced less success in the Arab world, where many countries are hesitant to strain relations with Moscow.
Many such as Egypt have not clearly sided with either Russia or Ukraine, leading Lavrov on Sunday to praise Arab countries’ and the League’s “balanced, fair, responsible position.”