Tourism is on the agenda. Putin is visiting Egypt for the first time in almost a decade, although he has already met Egypt’s new President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, twice since the military took power from Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohamed Morsi, in 2013 and was elected as Egypt’s new head in 2014.
Hundreds of posters of a smiling Russian President Vladimir were put up in Cairo ahead of the two-day visit of the Russian leader to Egypt. The two countries have much on the table, from regional security to a free trade deal.
Economic ties are expected to dominate Putin’s trip. He heads a delegation of minister-level officials dealing with trade, agriculture, energy, investment and nuclear power. Last year saw a rebound of trade between Russia and Egypt from a sharp drop in 2013 and reached over $4.6 billion.
To push the progress further, the two countries are to discuss a free trade agreement between Egypt and the Russia-led Eurasian free trade union, which also includes Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia. Russia and Egypt may also dump the US dollar and switch in trade, switching to national currencies, Putin said in an interview with the Egyptian daily newspaper Al-Ahram ahead of the visit.
READ MORE: Putin: US’ determination to dominate sparked Ukraine crisis
Bilaterally Egypt wants to boost profits from Russian tourists. The country’s tourist sector suffered greatly due to downgrade in security in the wake of the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and is currently struggling to bring back foreign visitors.
Providing security remains a challenge for Sisi’s government, with militants regularly launching attacks on army forces in the Sinai Peninsula and bombings reported in large cities.
Source: eTN Global Travel Industry News