By Ahmed Abbas
Developing social and economic models similar can lead to more collaboration between Arab and Latin countries, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said in his speech at the Arab-Latin summit.
“The tangible development witnessed by the level of increasing trade exchange volume between Arab and Latin countries – from only $6bn in 2004 to more than $33bn in recent years, is a true reflection of enforcing ties of cooperation between us,” Al-Sisi said.
An urgent need to upgrade the level of prospects for cooperation is required to achieve a qualitative leap in relations between Arab and South American countries. Egypt is looking forward to communicate with South American countries to brief them on investment opportunities under promising development plans.
Al-Sisi also revealed confidence in Latin American countries’ support to Arab issues, especially the Palestinian conflict.
Arab countries are now facing a risk of real disintegration, and fighting terrorism should not only rely on the security solutions, but must expand to include economic, social, and educational solutions, he continued.
“Out of this, Egypt was keen to launch Hope and Work initiative (HAND) during the current round of the General Assembly of the United Nations to face extremism,” he said.
Egypt and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement on Wednesday to establish a coordination council to execute the components of the Cairo Declaration previously signed in August. According to a statement released by Egypt’s presidency, Al-Sisi met with Saudi King Salman Bin Abel Aziz and both agreed to establish the council, with the foreign ministers of both countries signing the agreement.
Egyptian presidency spokesperson Alaa Youssef said the cooperation council will supervise agreements preparations, memoranda of understanding, and executive programmes between both countries, including the agreement on establishing the United Arab Force.
In the meeting, Al-Sisi stressed the importance of combatting “any efforts of interfering in Arab countries’ internal affairs”.
“The meeting will result in important decisions. We always have powerful relations that are difficult to be penetrated,” Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry told journalists before the meeting.
Shoukry praised the Riyadh Declaration, which he said is comprehensive and includes many elements of interest to both parties.
Al-Sisi met several with Arab and Latin leaders on the sidelines of the summit. In a meeting with his Yemeni counterpart, Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, Al-Sisi discussed recent developments in Yemen, including the negotiations between the Yemeni conflicting sides. He also confirmed to Hadi Egypt’s full support for the Yemeni people. Saudi Arabia and its allies are fighting Houthis in Yemen after a request from Hadi.
Al-Sisi also discussed ways to develop bilateral relations with both Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduru.