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Egypt's Sisi hails China's creative role in enriching G20 summit

CAIRO - Egypt is confident that the G20 summit to be held in China's Hangzhou will succeed inworking out ways to promote world economic growth, and Cairo's ties with Beijing will growstronger, said Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi Wednesday.

"Iam confident that the results of the upcoming summit will meet the aspirationsof our peoplesand the international community as a whole," President Sisisaid in an interview Wednesday withXinhua and other Chinese media based inCairo.

Sisi'sremarks came ahead of his upcoming visit to China's eastern city of Hangzhou toattendthe G20 summit scheduled for Sept. 4-5 as a guest of honor at theinvitation of his Chinesecounterpart Xi Jinping.

TheEgyptian president hailed China's "great and creative efforts" inleading the G20 this yearand preparing a bunch of key initiatives and workplans in various fields to be highlighted duringthe summit.

Heldunder the theme of "Toward an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected andInclusive WorldEconomy," this year's summit is expected to redraw the mapof world economy that has beenfacing decline over the past few years throughbalanced, inclusive economic development-basedpolicies to benefit big and smalleconomies alike.

Sisi saidthat the theme "summarizes Egypt's vision on the methods of worldeconomicadministration."

"Thetheme honestly reflects what the world economy needs today, as it stressesbuilding a worldeconomy where all efforts combine. Developing countries needthe economic expertise andfinance capabilities of developed countries, which inturn need promising markets in developingcountries to absorb theirproducts," said the Egyptian leader.

It is thefirst time for Egypt, which is not a G20 member, to be represented in such amassiveinternational economic event, known by experts as the board of theworld's economy, and theArab, African developing country is expected to seizethe opportunity to present its economicmap and investment environment toattract foreign investors.

Sisihoped Egypt's participation in the G20 summit will enhance the country'spracticalcooperation with members of the group, stressing that Egypt seeksclose cooperation with Chinato achieve the goals of the summit.

DescribingEgypt's ties with China as "strong and extended," Sisi noted that thehistorical tiesbetween the two countries provide promising chances for theirfurther cooperation andcoordination.

Sisi hasvisited China twice since he came to office in mid-2014 and was invited to theG20summit during Chinese President Xi Jinping's first state visit to Egypt inJanuary.

The twoleaders agreed to elevate the bilateral relationship to a comprehensivestrategicpartnership in December 2014.

Sisi saidthat his invitation to the summit embodies the depth of friendship andpartnershipbetween the two countries.

"Egyptian-Chineserelations grow stronger day after day and extend to include various fieldsofcooperation at all levels, given the technological and finance capabilitiesof China and thepromising investment and business opportunities provided byEgypt," the Egyptian leader said.

He alsoemphasized that Egypt's unique strategic location can make it "China'sportal to Africa."

"Egyptwelcomes Chinese investments that can export their products to the Africanstates withwhich Egypt has free trade agreements," Sisi said, noting Egypthosted in June 2015 the signingof a tripartite free trade agreement between theEast African Community (EAC), the SouthernAfrican Development Community (SADC)and the Common Market of Eastern and SouthernAfrica (COMESA).

Being theportal for the Arab world, Africa and also Europe through the MediterraneanSea, Sisibelieves that Egypt can play a key role in the Belt and RoadInitiative proposed by Xi in 2013.

"Egyptsupports the Chinese president's initiative to revive the Silk Road, and iskeen onsupporting such positive initiatives that seek to achieve cooperationand interests of peoples,bearing in mind that Egypt can be a main focal pointfor the implementation of this initiativethrough the Suez Canal projects,"the Egyptian leader pointed out.

"Egyptis interested in learning from China's pioneering experience in differentfields," theEgyptian president continued, citing China's successful experiencesin the fields ofadministrative development, e-government, scientific research,communication and informationtechnology, agriculture, technical training andrehabilitation and small medium enterprises.

Over thepast few years, which saw the ouster of two heads of state in 2011 and 2013,securityissues caused Egypt economic recession featuring a growing budgetdeficit, declining foreigncurrency reserves, ailing tourism and fleeing foreigninvestments.

Thechallenges led the most populous Arab country to seek a $12 billion loanrecently from theInternational Monetary Fund (IMF) to implement a tough,three-year economic reform program.

Duringhis visit to Cairo, Chinese President Xi Jinping made an important speech atthe ArabLeague headquarters where he highlighted "development" as thekey to resolve most MiddleEast problems including growing terrorism and chaos.

"Amidall challenges rises the role of the Group of 20, especially China. The groupis qualified toplay an active role at the international level in differentinternational issues, topped by fightingterrorism," the Egyptian presidenthoped, stating that the G20 states represent two-thirds of theworld population,85 percent of the world GDP and more than 75 percent of the world volume oftrade.

Sisiemphasized that maintaining security and stability requires providing asuitable environmentfor economic growth, creating job opportunities andsettling growing disputes," which are allconditions used by terroristgroups to recruit new elements."

He also stressedthe necessity for uprooting the resources that provide terror groups withfundsand arms, calling for punitive measures against the countries that assistthem.

"Egyptis keen to enhance its cooperation with China in various fields includingfighting terrorism,which Egypt believes has to be done through a comprehensivestrategy that is not restricted tomilitary and security cooperation but isextended to involve economic and social dimensions,"said the Egyptianpresident.

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