Egyptian President Al Sisi and Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa discuss mutual cooperation in a telephone conversation
Reaffirming and further consolidating the cordial relationship that has always existed between Egypt and Sri Lanka, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi received a phone call from his Sri Lankan counterpart, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Tuesday, 16th March 2021.
During the cordial conversation, both presidents discussed ways to promote bilateral cooperation between the two countries. President Rajapaksa has expressed pride in the distinguished relations Sri Lanka has always had with Egypt while stressing the importance the country attaches to strengthening bilateral relations in all fields as well as in various international fora. This has been prompted by the pioneering role that Egypt plays at the regional and international levels and its valuable role in the field of combating terrorism and achieving security, stability and peace in the Middle East.
For his part, President Al Sisi affirmed that Egypt welcomes all efforts to intensify cooperation with Sri Lanka in various international fora, especially in light of the historic bilateral relations existing between the two countries. His Excellency also stressed Egypt's keenness to strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries, especially in the economic domain including joint investments.
During the call, efforts to exchange multifaceted experiences between the two countries were discussed, including combating COVID-19 and strengthening coordination and cooperation on anti-terrorism efforts being one of the main challenges faced by the two countries. President Rajapaksa praised Egypt’s efforts to combat terrorism internally and regionally as well as the initiatives taken to counter extremist ideologies. In this respect, the pioneering role of Al-Azhar University of Egypt and its affiliated institutions in combating extremist ideologies and disseminating the enlightened teachings of Islam was further commended.
It is to be noted that Egypt was the first Arab and African country to establish diplomatic relations with Sri Lanka in 1957. Bilateral relations are currently experiencing a surge across many fields as both countries are cooperating and working together to overcome the diverse challenges presented by the COVID-19 global pandemic. Even during these difficult times, bilateral trade has gathered in momentum.
Egypt is also a traditional friend of Sri Lanka in international fora, especially in extending its staunch and unconditional support to the dignity, independence, sovereignty and unity of the Sri Lankan nation in the face of mounting internal and external pressures. In this regard, it is significant to highlight that Egypt was one of the 21 countries that spoke on behalf of Sri Lanka during the interactive dialogue on the UN Human Rights High Commissioner’s report on Sri Lanka at the ongoing 46th Session of the UNHRC in Geneva.