Japan-Egypt Summit Meeting and Luncheon Meeting
On April 30, commencing at 11:00 a.m. local time (5:00 p.m. Japan Standard time) for approximately one hour and 40 minutes, Mr.KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan, visiting Egypt, held a Summit Meeting with H.E. Mr. Abdel-Fattah El-SISI, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, followed by signing ceremony for the exchange of notes for a yen loan “Greater Cairo Metro Line No. 4 Phase 1 Project (III)” and other matters, in the presence of the two leaders, as well as a joint press occasion. A Luncheon Meeting, hosted by President El-Sisi, was then held from 1:35 p.m. for approximately 60 minutes. The summary of the summit and luncheon meetings is as follows.
President El-Sisi stated that he sincerely welcomes Prime Minister Kishida's visit and that as Egypt attaches importance to its relations with Japan, he hopes to further develop bilateral relations through this visit.
In response, Prime Minister Kishida stated that this is his first visit to Africa since assuming office as Prime Minister, and expressed his pleasure at visiting Egypt, a major regional power with a long history and a population of over 100 million people, as the first destination country. Prime Minister Kishida added that Egypt plays an extremely important role for peace and stability in the Middle East and African regions, and that Japan attaches importance to its partnership with Egypt.
2. Bilateral relations
The two leaders agreed to deepen bilateral relations by elevating the Japan-Egypt relations to a "Strategic Partnership."
(1) Economic cooperation
President El-Sisi expressed his appreciation for Japan’s support in various fields, and the two leaders confirmed the steady progress of Japan's assistance through ODA, including the signing of the yen loan for Greater Cairo Metro Line No. 4 Phase 1 Project (III) ; the launch of a study aimed at providing a vessel for ensuring safety of navigation of the Suez Canal; cooperation regarding strengthening food security; the steady promotion of Japanese-style education in the education sector, which includes the launch of talks on the introduction of Kosen schools (Colleges of Technology); the decision to accept 150 foreign students, mainly doctoral students, at the Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology (E-JUST); and cooperation regarding the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM). Prime Minister Kishida also congratulated Egypt on the success of COP27 that Egypt hosted, and noted the support by Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) for the issuance of Samurai bonds, as well as the support by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and NEXI for Japanese companies that participate in wind power generation projects.
(2) Japanese companies expanding into Egypt
Prime Minister Kishida stated that Egypt, which boasts the Suez Canal, is becoming increasingly attractive as an investment destination, and expressed his desire to encourage more Japanese companies to expand into and invest in Egypt, and to continue to contribute to Egypt through initiatives in both public and private sectors.
In response, President El-Sisi expressed hope that Japanese companies will actively expand into Egypt, including in the Suez Canal Special Economic Zone.
Prime Minister Kishida conveyed Japan's policy to further strengthen its personnel contribution to the Multinational Forces and Observers (MFO), deployed in the Sinai Peninsula to ensure peace and stability in the Middle East, in addition to the financial and personnel contribution that has been provided to date. In response, President El-Sisi expressed high appreciation for Japan's contribution to the stability of the region.
3. Regional affairs and others
(1) Situation in Ukraine
Prime Minister Kishida stated that it is necessary for the international community to send a concerted message that unilateral change of the status quo by force is not acceptable anywhere in the world and that the two leaders concurred in continuing to work together as partners that uphold a free and open international order based on the rule of law.
(2) Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP)
Prime Minister Kishida introduced the New Plan for the Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) announced in March this year, and expressed Japan's desire to continue to provide cooperation and support in line with the principles of the FOIP, including cooperation regarding safety of navigation of the Suez Canal.
In response, President El-Sisi expressed his interst in the FOIP and stated he intends to promote cooperation in the Middle East and Indo-Pacific.
(3) Regional affairs
The two leaders also discussed regional affairs, including the Middle East Peace and the situation in Sudan. The two leaders shared grave concerns about the current high tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, and Prime Minister Kishida expressed high appreciation to the five-party talks (Egypt, Jordan, the U.S., Israel and Palestine) for their efforts to ease the tensions. In response, President El-Sisi explained Egypt's efforts to prevent the situation in Palestine from worsening and to achieve a just and lasting peace, and showed his appreciation for Japan’s support so far.
The two leaders spent plenty of time for discussing the current situation in Sudan. The two leaders shared grave concerns about the situation and agreed to work closely with Egypt, which has close relations with Sudan, to calm the situation and resume the democratic transition process as soon as possible. Prime Minister Kishida conveyed that Japan, as the chair of the G7 and a member of the Security Council, will soon dispatch H.E. Mr. SHIMIZU, the Ambassador for the Horn of Africa, to Egypt and other related countries in order to make a positive contribution to the region, as well as that Japan is ready to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to refugees in neighboring countries and internally displaced persons. In response, President El-Sisi expressed his high appreciation for Japan's active engagement and his desire to cooperate with Japan to stabilize the situation.
The two leaders also agreed to further promote Japan-Egypt-Jordan trilateral cooperation, and to coordinate to hold the third Japan-Arab Political Dialogue in September this year.
President El-Sisi also stated his high appreciation for Japan’s support for Africa through TICAD, and conveyed his idea to continue to collaborate between Japan and Egypt on development in Africa.
Furthermore, the two leaders exchanged views on the situation in East Asia, including China and North Korea, and [agreed to continue to work closely together in dealing with North Korea, including the abductions issue.
(4) Cooperation in the International arena
Prime Minister Kishida stated the need to strengthen the UN as a whole, including UN Security Council reform, and to maintain and strengthen the NPT regime, and the two leaders agreed to continue to work closely together.
The two leaders witnessed a signing ceremony for the exchange of notes for a yen loan “Greater Cairo Metro Line No. 4 Phase 1 Project (III)”; a loan agreement for a yen loan “Greater Cairo Metro Line No. 4 Phase 1 Project (III)”; a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) for Enhancing Cooperation in the Field of Communications and Information Technology; a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) between the Ministry of Justice of Japan and the Ministry of Justice of the Arab Republic of Egypt in the Field of Legal and Justice Affairs; and a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) for a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and the Ministry of International Cooperation.