Serbian, Egyptian presidents sign strategic partnership agreement

Tanjug/ Jadranka Ilić

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic signed a joint declaration with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fatah al-Sisi establishing the two countries’ strategic partnership which includes political coordination on bilateral and international issues.

The strategic partnership also covers defense and security cooperation and economic ties based on a free trade agreeement that Belgrade and Cairo plan to sign. Vucic told a joint news conference that the plan is to finalize that agreement by this autumn. He said the two countries are considering the forming of joint companies “relying on each other in these hard times”.

Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic said after a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Hasan Shukri that Belgrade is ready to start talks on the free-trade agreement.

The Serbian president said that Serbia will export wheat, grains and fruit to Egypt in return for citrus fruit. Egypt relied heavily on wheat imports from Ukraine to date.

A total of 13 agreements were signed, including one which introduces a partial visa-free regime for diplomats and officials. Vucic also presented a decoration to Al Sisi who invited him to a climate change conference in Sharm el Sheikh.

Both presidents spoke of past relations between Belgrade and Cairo at a news conference with Vucic saying that the improving relations between the two countries will be evident in international affairs.

Al Sisi is also scheduled to see a demonstration of Serbian-produced weapons systems at the Nikinci military training grounds.