El Sisi brings up Russian flights to Egypt with Putin, but no breakthrough yet
Emiratis want to get involved with the RIZ, Putin tells El Sisi: The UAE has expressed interest in investing in the Russian Industrial Zone (RIZ), Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his meeting with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi, according to Tass news agency. “I recently visited our common friends in the United Arab Emirates. They are very interested in this joint project of ours and will also think about how they could fit into our joint development plans in the production sector,” Putin was quoted as saying.
Background: The RIZ is expected to attract as much as USD 7 bn in investments, its backers say. Moscow has recently committed up to USD 190 mn to develop the zone’s infrastructure. The first 500k sqm phase of the 5.25 mn sqm area will be handed over to investors for development by the end of the year, Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCEZ) Chairman Ashraf Zaki said on the airwaves earlier this month. It is expected to produce USD 3.6 bn worth of products by 2026.
Still no breakthrough on Russian flights to Sharm: Just a day after the United Kingdom said it would allow the resumption of direct flights to Sharm El Sheikh, El Sisi raised the same issue with Putin, according to an Ittihadiya statement. The Russian Foreign Ministry’s MENA director, Mikhail Bogdanov, told Sputnik that he hopes to see the issue resolved soon, a message the Russian side has repeated more than once in recent years.
Other news from Sochi:
- El Sisi calls on int’l financiers to get serious about Africa: El Sisi called on international and regional lenders to finance more investments and trade in Africa to support the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063 in the summit’s opening speech and during a working lunch with the heads of the AU’s eight certified Regional Economic Communities.
- First batch of Russian railcars coming in December: Russian rail equipment manufacturer Transmashholding is set to deliver the first batch of railcars to Egypt in December, a month earlier than previously expected, El Sisi said, according to Mubasher. This comes under a EGP 22 bn contract that will see Transmashholding supply a total of 1,300 cars,