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Polish and Egyptian presidents meet in Cairo to discuss trade, Ukraine

The heads of state of Poland and Egypt met in Cairo on Monday. Topics on the agenda included the expansion of the bilateral trade, especially of Polish food produce and Egyptian liquified natural gas.

During the second day of his state visit to Egypt, Polish President Andrzej Duda met with his Egyptian counterpart, Abd al-Fattah as-Sisi. At a press conference following the meeting of the two heads of state, President Duda thanked President as-Sisi for the understanding the latter expressed for the difficult situation Poland had found itself following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The country has offered shelter to over two million war refugees. As President as-Sisi said, his country’s position is that all efforts must be made to bring the conflict to a peaceful resolution, through bilateral, regional, or wider international negotiations. The Egyptian President noted that his country is struggling with six million migrants from Africa and the Middle East, who originally headed for southern Europe.

One of the topics on the agenda was the importation of Egyptian liquefied natural gas (LNG). As President Duda pointed out, Poland is expanding its gas terminal in Świonujście and has plans to build another in Gdańsk. “In this matter, we consider Egypt a very promising prospective partner; we also absolutely support the negotiations which are currently conducted between Egypt and the European Commission in terms of supplying LNG to the European Union,” said President Duda, stressing that Egypt is one of the Arabic countries with which Poland enjoys the most amicable relations.

The Polish President stressed that Poland, a country which is a major European agricultural produce and foodstuffs exporter hopes to increase the amount of Polish food exported to Egypt. He also said that Poland intends to support Egypt in resolving any trouble with water management the country might face due to the construction of a dam in Ethiopia. President Duda assured the Egyptians that Poland “will support Egypt so that the final international arrangements are such that this massive investment project will in no way threaten Egypt, its economy, and agriculture.”

“Today, we can boldly say that there is a lot going on in our relationship in order to intensify Polish-Egyptian relations,” said President Duda, expressing the belief that his visit will open a new chapter in the countries’ relations. He said that for many years Egypt has been a favourite destination for hundreds of thousands of Polish tourists and that he hopes even more of them will visit the Middle Eastern country in the coming years. The Polish head of state also stressed the scientific collaboration between the two countries: Polish Egyptologists and archaeologists have been very active in Egypt for decades, and President Duda asked for his Egyptian counterpart’s support for the opening of a new research centre in Luxor.

President as-Sisi also said that Polish-Egyptian relations, particularly in the field of trade, but also tourism, medicine, and technology, will continue to develop. He mentioned that he spoke with the Polish leader about Egypt’s efforts to improve its human rights record, including religious tolerance. President as-Sisi said Poland recognises these efforts, as well as the country’s role in combating terrorism, but that these efforts will need to be doubled, particularly when it comes to financing terrorism.

The press conference followed the signing of documents relating to economic, agricultural, sports, and diplomatic cooperation. The Polish President then went on to meet with Tawadros II, the Pope of the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church, and then Moustafa Mabdouli, the Prime Minister, in order to inaugurate the Polish-Egyptian Economic Forum.

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