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Putin, Sisi to discuss trade, Gaza crisis in Moscow
August 12, 2014, 10:02 am

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was sworn in as Egyptian president on June 8 [AP]

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was sworn in as Egyptian president on June 8 [AP]

Ahead of a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on Tuesday, international watchdog Human Rights Watch has called for a UN enquiry into the killings of hundreds of Egyptian demonstrators, notably supporters of ousted President Mohamed Mursi last year by security forces of the military government.

A Reuters report quoted HRW Executive Director Kenneth Roth as saying “In Rabaa Square, Egyptian security forces carried out one of the world’s largest killings of demonstrators in a single day in recent history”.

Putin and Sisi will meet in Moscow on Tuesday to discuss the Gaza crisis, Egypt’s efforts in mediating between Israelis and Palestinians and strengthened cooperation between Russia and Egypt.

“The Russian President highly praised the efforts being taken by the Egyptian side to promote the normalization of situation in the region, including by organising for this purpose direct talks between Palestinians and Israelis,” said a Kremlin statement last week.

The two leaders had also discussed the crisis in Iraq and Libya during a phone conversation.

“Given the exacerbation of crisis in Libya, both leaders spoke in favour of encouraging national dialogue in order to resolve the points at issue by political means,” the statement added.

Egypt is also pushing for creation of a free trade zone with the customs union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, a proposal likely to be discussed during talks between the two leaders in Moscow on Tuesday. Russian Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fydorov said earlier this year Moscow could aid in modernisation of Egyptian assets dating back to the Soviet era, that includes an aluminium plant, a hydro power plant and projects related to the light metro in Cairo and grain storage.

Egyptian and Russian officials have also been discussing supplies of Russian liquefied natural gas and other commodities to Egypt, talks that assume further significance in the light of new rounds of sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis.


TBP and Agencies

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