CAIRO: Visiting Austrian President Heinz Fischer is to meet with President Hosni Mubarak today at the Presidential Palace.
Talks between the two presidents will focus on bilateral issues, the situation in the Middle East, the Iranian nuclear program, developments in Iraq and matters related to economics and culture, Fischer’s spokesman Bruno Aigner said.
Fischer will also attend a joint business forum and he will meet with Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif and Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa.
Egypt is Austria’s most important North African trade partner, said a press release from the Austrian embassy in Cairo.
Trade exchange between the two countries amounts to $200 million, mostly Austrian exports to Egypt. About 150,000 Austrians visit Egypt every year.
Austria is also looking for Egypt’s support to join the United Nations Security Council as a non-permanent member in the coming year’s elections.
Fischer arrived in Egypt yesterday with his wife Margit Fischer accompanied by a high-ranking delegation on a three-day official visit.
The Austrian president is accompanied by Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs Ursula Plassnik, State Secretaries Christa Kranzl, Christine Marek and Christoph Matznetter as well as Vice President of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber Richard Schenz and a group of businessmen.
Fischer yesterday visited Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the National Museum and the Amphitheatre in Alexandria.
He is to address a business forum in Cairo tomorrow in which Minister of International Cooperation Fayza Abul Naga and Minister of Transportation Mohamed Mansour will participate.
During the visit, a bilateral Framework Agreement on Financial Cooperation will be signed by Abul Naga and State Secretary of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance Christoph Matznetter.
The agreement provides 50 million euros for Austrian soft loan projects in Egypt in various sectors, including water treatment, and health and education.
The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on the consolidation of technical cooperation is also planned.
Fischer and his spouse will pay a visit to the Presidential Palace, and a press conference will be held after talks between the two presidents.
The president will then meet Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif and Moussa in the late afternoon.
Once the official meetings are concluded, in the evening, the president and his accompanying delegation are scheduled to visit the Egyptian museum. A visit to the Pyramids is also planned on Tuesday before the Austrian head of state leaves Cairo back for Vienna.