With 110 years of diplomatic relations, Egypt and Romania are linked with a close historic relation, which goes back to a period prior to the official establishment of bilateral relations, as they cooperated during digging the Suez Canal in 1860’s. Furthermore, religious links between the Egyptian and Romanian Churches witnessed close relations for many centuries. All of this paved the way to the formalization of the official diplomatic relations between Egypt and Romania in 1906 which was a landmark event in the history of both countries, as it influenced both sides in expanding their external economic, political and cultural strategies towards new regions and continent.
The Romanian great role with Egypt was not only limited to backing up the industrial, agricultural and economical fields, but they have also been an honest mediator in the peace process between Egypt and Israel after the 6th of October 1973 liberation war which resulted in the historic visit of late president Sadat to Jerusalem in 1977.
In the present year of 2016 and on the occasion of celebration the 110th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Egypt and Romania, one can say that the bilateral relations between both countries enjoy a very good level of constancy and stability. Furthermore, they are characterized by a high level of coordination, affinity and convergence of visions on the various regional and international issues.
The traditionally long-standing Egyptian-Romanian relationship has also been given a new impetus lately, if we are just to mention the signing of ” the Cooperation Program in the fields of education, culture and other Related Fields ” on the 25th of march 2016, which would be the nucleus that triggers a new era of more strong bonds.
It is also important to mention the actual full support of the Romanian government and Romanian people for Egypt’s ongoing political, economic, social and democratic transformations that started with the upheaval of the Egyptian population on the 25th January 2011 revolution, complemented by the 30th of June revolution against the rule of Islamic extremists under the banner of the so called “Moslem Brothers”, that already started to bear their fruit especially after the accomplishment of the third requirement of the road map by electing a new parliament in December 2015. Since then Egyptian government appreciated the training courses and seminars hosted by Romania aiming at enhance the capacities of Egyptian officials working in the fields of elections and democratic transition.
It is also well noted that, Romania’s joining the European Union on 1st January 2007, contributed to boosting bilateral relations, in consistency with the growing bilateral relations between Egypt and the EU, where the Egyptian Romanian relations diversified and widened on issues of mutual interest.
Furthermore, in the upcoming period, Egypt expects to regain the number of tourists it used to have before from Romania (an average of 40,000 per year), given the challenge our country faced after the Revolution, when the tourist in-flow scored a steep decrease. But I am sure that the Romanian people will enjoy returning back to their favorite destinations in Egypt (Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, Sharm El Shaikh, Hurghada), in the purpose of proving that terrorism will never be a source of fear that hinder people to people communication, which is considered as the cornerstone of our relations with Romania.
It remains to say that our economic relations between the two countries are evolving, especially during the last two years, when it has reached 667,5 and 512 million Euro in 2014 and 2013 comparing to around 418 Million Euros in 2012 , reflecting an increase of 59% in 2014 compared to 2012. Egypt is the main trading partner of Romania in the region, as Romania remains one of the main sources of wood and grains, while Egyptian pharmaceutical industry has made significant inroads in the Romanian market.
Finally, both economies have the necessary credentials to engage in more trade and investment transactions, as being the most generic engine of any economy. Egyptian Business Community is imbued with determination and enthusiasm to achieve the perceived opportunities with their counterparts on the Romanian market. In simple terms, yes, Egyptian exports to Romania are currently under the target, but things are looking up, although we have a long way to go. So we need to widen our economic horizons and technical cooperation as it is required in this aspect. Despite that Egypt has been through recent adjustments, Egyptians are accustomed to overcoming such problems and the market has a hunger and aptitude for investments.
Long live Egyptian – Romanian friendship and cooperation.