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Revolution shaped Egypt - Egyptian Ambassador Reda El-taify to Vietnam
Ngày đăng: 02/11/2011

Ambassador Reda El-taify of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Hanoi, Vietnam

Viet Nam News spoke with Egyptian Ambassador Reda El-taify on the occasion of his country's National Day.

It has been 59 years since the first Egyptian Revolution occurred and independence was established in the Egypt. What has your country done to maintain peace and stability?

The 23rd of July revolution was a landmark event in the Egyptian history that changed the life and the destiny of Egypt and paved the way for all Egyptians to obtain their right to dignity and honour after many years of suffering from oppression, occupation and exploitation.

The glorious July revolution enabled the Egyptians to break the shackles of colonisation and create a milestone for the history of independence movements, confronting colonialism and foreign domination not only in Egypt but also in the entire Arab world, Africa, Asia and the Third world.

Furthermore its enormous effects on both the regional and international arena, shows the July revolution had succeeded in achieving most of its objectives; particularly the elimination of colonialism and feudalism, building a strong national army, land re-allocation and reclaiming of the desert. However, it failed to achieve social justice and establish a base for a democratic political life in Egypt, which has contributed through the last 50 years to the evolution of the 25th of January Revolution.

The 25th of January Revolution was pushed by a mass popular movement led by youth, comprising all political forces and segments of Egyptian society, demanding dignity, equality, freedom, democracy, a better future and a brighter outlook for a new Egypt.

It is indeed a historical moment that has asserted that people are central to good governance and thus today we are pursing a democratic path leading to both parliamentary and presidential elections in the late part of this year. A new constitution will be drafted to ensure, among other things, better distribution and balance of power among our executive, legislative and judiciary branches of the state while preparing the grounds for medium and long-term strategic transformations.

Its worth noting that these two revolutions have proven with no doubt the importance and key role of Egypt and to what extend in maintaining stability, peace and democracy in Egypt will be directly reflected on its neighbours and regional environment.

In 1963, Egypt was the first Arab country to establish bilateral relations with Viet Nam. How do you evaluate the development of these ties?

Egypt and Viet Nam are bound by strong ties stretching back to the 1960s. Egypt respects Viet Nam's history of struggle, its leadership; party; Government and people and its significant developmental experience.

At the political level, both countries have excellent relations reflected by the exchange of high-ranking official visits, continuous consultation and co-ordination between both sides, exchange of mutual support at various international forums, as well as the sustainability of certain co-operation mechanisms since the 1990s to enhance the bilateral relations through Political Consultation between both ministries of foreign affairs, which recently held its sixth session in Cairo, and the Ministerial Joint Committee, which will hold its fifth session in Ha Noi early next year.

"Egypt is looking forward to closer comprehensive relations with Viet Nam during the coming few years", was the message expressed by Egyptian Prime Minister Dr. Essam Sharf during a meeting with Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Doan Xuan Hung who visited Egypt from June 25 – 28 as a special envoy of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung accompanied by a high ranking delegation from ministries of Industry and Trade, Agriculture and Rural Development, Education and representatives from the Military Telecom Group (Viettel) and the Viet Nam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam).

During Vietnamese deputy foreign minister Doan Xuan Hung's visit to Egypt in June, the two countries set a two-way trade target of US$1 billion in the near future. When do you think that target will be reached and what do both countries need to do to achieve it?

In spite of those distinguished political relations, economic and trade ties are still very modest as two-way trade value was around US$200 million last year and far from reflecting the actual potential of our two countries. Accordingly both sides have to exert more effort to foster these relations, building on their unlimited capabilities, their vast population and the importance of each nation in its regional context.

Therefore, targeting a trade balance of $1 billion is not far from being achieved through organising more trade fairs and exhibitions, the establishment of a joint business council, closer co-operation among private sectors, chambers of commerce and business communities of both sides and activating the signed agreements and MoUs between the two countries, especially in the fields of agriculture, fisheries, energy, telecommunications and petrochemicals.

What are your priorities during your term as ambassador to Viet Nam?

Despite this being my first year as ambassador in Viet Nam; I am really impressed with the country's great progress, socio-economic development and the determination of the Vietnamese people, Party and the Government to modernise their country.

I consider myself lucky as during these 10 months I had the chance to join the celebration of the 1,000th anniversary of the capital Ha Noi, to follow the 11th National Congress of the Communist Party of Viet Nam and to witness the successful 13th National Assembly and People's Councils elections for the 2011-16 term.

Consequently, I am very optimistic about my term in Viet Nam, aiming to build on distinguished historical and political relations to enhance economic, trade and cultural ties between our nations, by setting up a joint business council and increasing two-way trade to reach the target of $1 billion.

Promoting cultural relations, people to people dialogue and introducing our civilisations to each other is another priority. The embassy started this ambitious programme by organising a visit by Miss Viet Nam and a journalist delegation to Cairo, Alexandria and Luxor from July 2-10 to introduce the Egyptian civilisation and culture to the Vietnamese audience. Also we are working on other cultural events, especially organising the Egyptian cultural day in Ha Noi and HCM City to attract Vietnamese tourists to visit Egypt.

What are the Egyptian experiences in preserving national heritage that Viet Nam could learn from?

In Egypt, we consider our heritage of Pharaonic, Roman, Greek, Coptic, Islamic and Arabic civilisations as a part of our national identity and conscience that should be protected, preserved, maintained and developed through a national comprehensive strategy based on:

Egypt at a glance

Area: 1 million sq. km

Population: 83.1 million

Capital: Cairo

Language: Arabic

Currency: Egyptian pound

National Flag: Horizontal bands of red, white, and black with an eagle in the centre of the white band.

Establishing new high standard museums such as the Grand Egyptian Museum, under construction now, which is set to be the world's largest museum in terms of number of exhibits;

Area: 1 million sq. km

Population: 83.1 million

Capital: Cairo

Language: Arabic

Currency: Egyptian pound

National Flag: Horizontal bands of red, white, and black with an eagle in the centre of the white band.

Updating archaeological archiving and documentation of cultural heritage throughout fruitful co-operation among Bibliotheca Alexandria, and the ministries of antiquates, culture, telecommunication and centre for documentation of cultural and natural heritage;

Close co-operation and dialogue among Egyptian authorities, the international archaeological community and international organisations concerned with human heritage, especially UNESCO; and

Running a long campaign to ensure the return of stolen Egyptian monuments and antiquities on display abroad, in addition to internally intensifying combat of the illicit trade of antiquities by doubling the penalties for stealing, hiding or collecting authentic antiquities. —

VNS

Posted by IAMES