'Natural ally' Egypt president Sisi’s historic Armenia visit is chance to intensify ties, including in defense sector
YEREVAN, JANUARY 27, ARMENPRESS. President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s upcoming visit to Armenia is a historic event, it will mark the first time when an Egyptian President is visiting Armenia since Armenia regained independence, expert on Arab studies Araks Pashayan told ARMENPRESS.
“This opportunity must be used to intensify relations with Egypt,” Pashayan said. “Overall, we need to strengthen partnership in areas where we have common interests. I can say that Armenia is a part of the Greater Middle Eastern region. We have centuries-old historical-cultural contacts with Egypt. The Armenian element has been present in Egypt in various periods of time, among the military-political elite, in commerce and artisanal areas and other sectors,” the Arabist said, emphasizing that the Egyptian society knows Armenians very well but Armenia to a lesser extent.
She said that the Egyptian President’s visit will be a very good occasion to outline the directions of bilateral interest and possibilities for utilizing the existing big potential. According to Pashayan, Armenia has the opportunity to develop the "military-technical sector" with Egypt. “Certainly, the experts of this sector must define the agenda and priorities, but in any case, I think that this is one of the most important sectors. Consistent work must be done, Egypt is one of the exclusive Arab countries with whom Armenia doesn’t have any political issue, there are no obstacles for developing bilateral relations. And we have all opportunities for increasing bilateral partnership in a number of areas to a higher level,” Pashayan said.
Boosting economic relations is also highly important, the expert added. Activeness is already seen in tourism, and regular direct flights are available. Egypt is one of the most popular tourism destinations for Armenians, and Armenia can also be attractive for Egyptians.
“Egypt can be a natural ally for Armenia. We have many untapped opportunities. Today, Armenia has the need to increase the number of its friendly countries, although our friendship with Egypt comes from the depth of centuries. In any case, we must be consistent. Generally, the Middle East must be viewed as a foreign policy priority of Armenia,” Araks Pashayan said.
Pashayan underscored that Azerbaijan is carrying out massive work against Armenia’s interests and agenda. In this context Pashayan attached importance to Armenia enhancing cooperation with countries of the Middle East.
The expert on Arab studies highlighted the presence and work of the Armenian community of Egypt. She underscored that the Egyptian government has a very caring attitude towards the Armenian community. Armenia is interested in the welfare of the Armenian community in Egypt, which is the bridge in the Armenia-Egypt relations.
Interview by Anna Gziryan
Cameraman – Hayk Barseghyan