Saudi visit a sign of ‘optimism and hope,’ says Egyptian minister of international cooperation

Saudi visit a sign of ‘optimism and hope,’ says Egyptian minister of international cooperation

RIYADH (RAHNUMA): The Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman is on a tour of the Middle East, where he will visit Egypt before continuing on to Jordan and Turkey. The upcoming visit’s discussions will cover fields of economy, tourism and bilateral investment.

Arab News was granted an extensive interview with Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, who described the relations between the two countries “a very strategic one.”

She said: “It’s a very old one. And every time there’s a summit, there’s always a sense of optimism and hope, and alignment when it comes to the debate on the future.”

She added that the visit is “extremely significant.”

Al-Mashat said: “The other point is, this visit is coming at a time when the global situation is very complicated. It’s very challenging. There are winners, there are losers. There are concerns that everybody is thinking about: The world’s economic growth, the world’s employment, the world’s inflation. So such a summit is one that I think involves a lot of anticipation. But, as happened with previous visits, there’s always outcomes which are very favorable for both nations.”

Egypt is president and host of the UN Climate Change Conference COP 27, which will be held in November. Al-Mashat said that Egypt, as host, will continue the goals laid out at last year’s COP 26 conference held in Scotland. “We want this COP to be one of implementation. There were many pledges made in Glasgow,” she says.

She added that there are three key items on the agenda: “First, of course, Egypt as president is impartial. But adaptation and resilience are extremely important. And this has become even more so with what’s happening globally, given what we’re seeing with respect to food security, and what we’re seeing with respect to how food is related to any vulnerability, including issues related to water. Egypt being in Africa, adaptation and resilience for Africa is quite significant. So that’s going to be an opportunity.”

COP 27 being presided over by an African country also holds great significance for Al-Mashat. “The voice of the (Global) south is more prominent in G20, as well as from Indonesia, another country from the south. So between the G20 and COP 27, two big nations, two voices, will speak on behalf of middle-income countries, on behalf of developing economies,” she said.

Al-Mashat added that the goal of the upcoming conference will be shifted from the making of pledges to implementation. “Implementation here includes how we can see all the commitments when it comes to financing, making their ways to investable projects in middle-income countries and low-income countries, in countries that are not just focusing on mitigation, but on adaptation, given the climate risks related to water scarcity and desertification, which is also a big risk for countries.”

On the topic of Gulf bilateral joint committees, Al-Mashat said that “there are discussions always around different types of strategic investments.

“So, what we saw during the months of March and April were directions in line with what Egypt wants to do when it comes to opening up the private sector more to foreign investments.”

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