Wednesday 13 Oct 2021


President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi arrived in the Hungarian capital Budapest on 11 October to participate in the second round of the Visegrád Group Summit (V4) which includes the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

This is the second time for the president to participate in the V4 summit, the first being in 2017. The summit, considered a political and cultural ally of the four countries, is meant to discuss several issues, among them Egypt’s role in the Middle East, cooperation to counter terrorism, illegal immigration and opportunities to develop trade, investment and tourism.

Al-Sisi is scheduled to hold meetings with senior Hungarian officials, including President Janos Ader and Prime Minister Viktor Orban, in addition to participating in the Egyptian-Hungarian business forum, according to presidential official Spokesman Bassam Radi.

The V4 countries are keen to familiarise themselves with Egypt’s vision and assessment of the situation in the Middle East, especially in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, in order to help find political solutions to the region’s crises and to curb illegal immigration, Sayed Ghanem, a professor of political science at Cairo University, said.

“Egypt is the first country in the Middle East that is invited to participate in the Visegrád Summit, the third country in the world to participate in the gathering after Japan and Germany,” added Ghanem.

According to Ghanem, Europe has appreciated Egypt’s efforts in curbing illegal immigration since 2016 up until today.

Ghanem expects the visit to include discussions on investment opportunities available in the current national and development projects in Egypt, the development of infrastructure and new and renewable energy projects, and benefiting from Egypt to enter the Arab and African markets to realise mutual interests between the two sides.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 14 October, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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