The Outer

Secretary General of the Egyptian-Russian Friendship Society: Russia is a strategic ally of the Arab peoples

By Manal Abdel Fattah

Within the framework of the activities of the World Youth Festival in Sochi, which is organized by Russia with the participation of 20,000 young people representing 187 countries, Sherif Gad, Deputy Head of the Egyptian Delegation and Secretary General of the Egyptian-Russian Friendship Society, participated in a symposium entitled “Arab Countries and Russia: Modern Possibilities for Economic and Cultural Exchange within the Framework of a Pluralistic World.”

Poles and Integrative Integration” with the participation of the Tunisian Minister of Sports and Youth, the Libyan Minister of Youth, the Syrian Minister of Youth, and Dr. Orwa Tariq from the Emirates University. The Palestinian Dr. Samir Al-Khatib moderated the symposium.

The symposium took place in front of a large crowd of young people from around the world, and most of the attendees were young people from Arab countries, where Arab-Russian relations in the economic and cultural fields, and its impact on development in those countries, were discussed.

In his speech, Gad pointed out that Russia is a strategic ally of the Arab peoples, and in particular he praised the Egyptian-Russian relations, and mentioned that there are two examples to confirm the credibility of the Russian friends when the tripartite aggression against Egypt by Britain, France, and Israel occurred in 1956. The aggression failed for two reasons: the first reason is the struggle The Egyptian people and their struggle against the occupation, and the second reason was the famous Soviet warning that stood by the Egyptian people.

Another example is when NATO decided to completely destroy Syria, and the pilots in the planes prepared to take off to destroy Syria, as happened in Libya, had it not been for Russian diplomatic intervention that prevented that.

Regarding economic cooperation, Gad mentioned that Egypt has established 97 of the most important projects with the Soviet Union, the most important of which is the High Dam, but there are dozens of projects affecting the Egyptian economy and culture.

Today, in light of the political will between the two leaders, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Vladimir Putin, relations between the two countries are developing within their natural framework, and we are heading towards achieving another major achievement, which is the Dabaa project, and we are also awaiting the project to establish the Russian industrial zone in the Canal Zone.

Egyptian-Russian cultural relations are developing well, and have a great historical asset. The Academy of Arts in Egypt was established in cooperation with the Russian side, and we are still cooperating with them.

Gad expressed his astonishment at the position of America and the West on boycotting Russian culture, asking, “How can you boycott the culture of a people, let alone when this people has an amazing asset in the history of world culture?”

Gad indicated in his speech that this great cooperation needs more support from both parties. For example, there are 10 departments in Egypt for teaching the Russian language in Egyptian universities, which is a large number compared to the Middle East and Africa region, and it needs full support and communication with the Russian side. In terms of providing professors and curricula.
There are 16,000 Egyptian students studying in Russia, and the matter requires opening joint banks, especially after Egypt joined the BRICS.

On the cultural side, there is importance to revitalizing the translation movement and transforming it from the individual efforts of a distinguished group of translators to institutional efforts at the level of the ministries of culture in the two countries to further become acquainted with the latest literary and scientific books in the two countries.

Gad pointed out the importance of having other than commercial artistic performances that represent Russia abroad, to having artistic performances within the framework of cultural exchange between Russia and the countries of the world, as Russia has enormous potential in this field in folk arts, music, ballet, etc.

Jad called for the need to expand the base of cooperation with civil society within the framework of what is called popular diplomacy to build bridges of communication between the two peoples.

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