Chinese and Egyptian officials pledged to further bilateral ties as the two countries celebrated the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
A ceremony which was held at the Chinese Embassy in Cairo, started with playing the national anthems of Egypt and China, and then representatives of both countries read the congratulatory messages from Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, on the occasion.
“The China-Egypt relations have become a model for cooperation between developing countries,” Chinese Ambassador Song Aiguo told the attendees, adding that “China and Egypt have always sympathized, trusted and supported each other as good friends, partners and brothers.”
“The past 60 years have witnessed the fact that the two countries stand and strive together in the cause of development,” Song said, noting that bilateral economic cooperation and people-to-people exchanges have greatly developed over the past few years due to the efforts and support of the leaders of both countries.
For her part, Egyptian Investment Minister Dalia Khorshid said the event was “very important” as it represents the constant efforts made by the two nations over the past years.
“We’re happy to celebrate this together and we’re looking forward to strengthening all the upcoming investments between the two countries across all fields and sectors,” the minister told Xinhua.
Egyptian Culture Minister Helmi al-Nimnim said that he is “optimistic” about the future of the Egypt-China ties and believe they will constantly head toward a direction that benefits both nations.
Egypt was the first Arab state to have established diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China in 1956.
In the past six decades, China and Egypt have always been promoting their friendship and bilateral cooperation.
During President Sisi’s visit to China in December 2014, the two sides agreed to upgrade their relations to “a comprehensive strategic partnership.”
China has become Egypt’s largest trading partner, with bilateral trade reaching 12.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2015. Chinese investment in Egypt hit more than 6 billion dollars and the number of Chinese enterprises in Egypt exceeded 80 in 2015.
“Chinese President Xi is one of the leaders who are highly appreciated in Egypt and all Arab states, and we’re currently trying to hold more activities to promote the relations of all Arab countries with China,” Youssef Wali, chairman of the Egyptian-Chinese Friendship Association, told Xinhua at the ceremony.
“China is considered one of the promising countries for the Arab region and the Middle East in general,” said Wali, who is former Egyptian agriculture minister.
The ceremony included Chinese traditional dances, acrobatic performance, music and a performance of an Egyptian traditional song played only with Chinese traditional music instruments.
It also included a display of the development of ties between the two countries from 1956 to 2016.
More than 600 people including Egyptian presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef and Egyptian ministers of culture, investment and transport attended the ceremony.