Several months agowe celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the establishment of Armenian-Egyptian diplomatic relations. However, the contacts between our peoples have a much longer history, and Armenians have always played a remarkable role in the life of Egypt.
In this context, we can mention, for example, the first Prime Minister of Egypt, Nubar Pasha (1825-1899), the first Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, Poghos Yusufian Pasha (1775-1844), etc.
It is noteworthy that the very first Embassy of Armenia in the Middle East was opened in Cairo. It began its work in September, 1992. Meanwhile, the Egyptian Embassy was opened in Yerevan next year – in 1993.
From the very first days of the independence Armenia emphasized the vital importance of the Middle East for its foreign policy. Today eleven Armenian diplomatic representations operate in the region, and I am sure that this number will increase.
The last thirty years of Armenian-Egyptian relations are considered as a significant period, full of developments, as a result of which Armenia and Egypt are friendly states that have no political contradictions, but only prospects for positive and effective cooperation. Many mutual visits took place.The two official visits to Egypt of the first and second presidents of Armenia worth mentioning here. A huge number of political and cultural events have been organized, more than 50 agreements were signed. Next year Armenia is looking forward to host the 6th session of the Armenian-Egyptian Intergovernmental Committee,some high-level visits to Armenia.
Our country appreciates the stabilizing political role of Egypt in the Middle East, considering official Cairo as a cornerstone in the security architecture of the region.
The Embassy of Armenia to Egypt is making great efforts to promote and enhance economic and trade cooperation between the two countries. Recently, the visa regimes have been mutually simplified which will promote the development of partnership in tourism sphere.
Today, a vibrant Armenian community in Egypt contributes actively to the strengthening of our historic friendship and cooperation.On top of that, there are Armenian churches, cultural clubs and schools. Armenian books and newspapers are being actively published in Egypt. Many Egyptian artists of Armenian origin are accepted and loved in this wonderful country. We highly appreciate the positiveattitude and advertency of the President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi towards the Armenian community of Egypt.
It is widely recognized that Armenia has managed to make significant progress in the process of state-building. We have developed strong institutions of legislative, executive and judicial branches of power, which are marked by continuity and a high degree of proficiency.Over recent years our country has also made massive step forwardin combatting corruption and enhancing the rule of law. In order to ensure sustainable economic growth and increase economic competitiveness, the development of a knowledge- and high-technology-based economy has been declared as a core long-term strategic objective. Despite the permanent blockade imposed by two of its neighbors – Azerbaijan and Turkey, our country is quite successful in strengthening its economy.
Talking about the tragedy of the Armenian Genocidein the Ottoman Empire, we should express our gratitude to all the countries and peoples who granted asylum to those of our compatriots who managed toescape from the massacres. Thousands found a second home here – in Egypt.
* The writer is H.E. Mr. Hrachya Poladyan, Ambassador of Armenia to Egypt.