The relations between Egypt and Romania have a strong historical foundation, and the interactions over the years have significantly contributed to shaping the current diplomatic relations
There is great potential for cooperation and economic exchange between the two countries. This potential has been harnessed over time, leading to the establishment of strong ties between the two nations. Current global geopolitical and economic changes open historical perspectives that favor the development of bilateral relations.
H.E. Moayad Eldalie, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt, one of the most active high-ranking diplomats of Arab states in Bucharest, presented his letters of credence on September 29, 2021. The Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Romania is also accredited for the Republic of Moldova.
Diplomatic relations between Egypt and Romania began in 1906, and since then, economic cooperation, cultural exchanges, and political dialogues have been at the core of their interactions. Economic cooperation is evident through the growth of trade exchanges and investments, with Egypt playing a vital role in Romania’s strategy in the Middle East and Africa.
The Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Romania encourages and strengthens bilateral relations, while also serving as a diplomatic channel between Egypt and the Republic of Moldova to expand the horizons of cooperation. In the interview, it is highlighted that Romania has been an important trading partner for Egypt, particularly in agriculture, chemistry, and automobiles. The total value of Egyptian investments in Romania, as of October 31, 2022, reached approximately 43.95 million dollars, while Romanian investments in Egypt during the same period were around 88 million dollars.
Romania and Egypt established diplomatic relations at the level of diplomatic agency and general consulate in April 1906. Your Excellency, how would you characterize the historical evolution of bilateral relations between Egypt and Romania?
The historical relationship between Egypt and Romania dates back several centuries. Interactions between the two states throughout history have played a significant role in shaping their current diplomatic and cultural relations.
One of the earliest interactions between Egypt and Romania is recorded during the time of the ancient Roman Empire and the Middle Ages. Furthermore, in the 16th and 17th centuries, Egypt became part of the Ottoman Empire. Romania was also under Ottoman rule for a considerable period, bringing significant changes to both Egypt and Romania.
In the 19th century, both Egypt and Romania fought for independence from Ottoman domination. Romania successfully gained its independence in 1877, followed by Egypt in 1922. This shared struggle laid the groundwork for future cooperation and collaboration between the two countries.
Formal diplomatic relations between Egypt and Romania were established in 1906, and since then, the two countries have maintained a friendship. Cooperation between the two countries has largely focused on economic cooperation, cultural exchanges, and political dialogues. Overall, the historical relationship between Egypt and Romania has been characterized by limited direct interactions in the past, but these have become much more numerous in the present. Their shared experience of fighting for independence, as well as the growing economic and cultural exchanges, have contributed to the development of a relationship of cooperation and friendship.
The relationship between Egypt and Romania has been influenced by several key historical events and periods. Some of the notable ones include:
- Egypt and Romania were part of the non-aligned movement during the Cold War period, aiming to maintain independence from the influence of both the United States and the Soviet Union.
- The policy of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser aimed at establishing economic cooperation with countries worldwide. His vision was compatible with the Romanian socialist policy under the leadership of Nicolae Ceaușescu, leading to increased political and economic cooperation between the two countries.
- Romania was one of the few Eastern Bloc countries that maintained diplomatic relations with Egypt after the peace treaty with Israel, which played a role in strengthening their relationship. All these historical interactions have led to a very good bilateral relationship between Egypt and Romania in various areas such as political and diplomatic relations, characterized by stability, consistency, coordination, and convergence of views on various regional and international issues, as well as in cultural and educational exchange programs over the years, which have contributed to stimulating mutual understanding and consolidating relations. In general, Egypt and Romania are bound by close historical ties, as in 2024 they will celebrate 118 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations.
“The increase in economic cooperation, trade exchanges, and investments is an objective shared by Egypt and Romania.”
What are the main economic sectors underlying the bilateral relations between our countries? Could you provide some concise conclusions regarding the trend of this collaboration from your country’s perspective?
The increase in economic cooperation, trade exchanges, and investments is an objective shared by Egypt and Romania. We are convinced that the prosperity recorded in recent years in bilateral trade relations has made Egypt one of Romania’s most important trading partners in the Middle East and Africa. Egypt could play a significant role in Romania’s strategy to develop relations with Africa and countries in the Middle East, and Romania, as a member of the EU and NATO, could provide real support to Egypt in Europe.
The bilateral relationship between Egypt and Romania is enhanced by the collaboration and economic growth recorded in various economic sectors for which the two countries have signed agreements. There are opportunities for trade and investments in areas such as agriculture, manufacturing, energy, tourism, IT, food industry, and construction. Egypt has actively sought to strengthen economic ties with Romania, especially through initiatives to promote trade and investments. The exchange of official visits and the signing of agreements in various fields reflect the commitment to strengthen the bilateral relationship.
The volume of trade between Egypt and Romania was approximately 1.107 million dollars in the first 9 months of 2022, of which 334 million dollars are Egyptian exports, while 773 million dollars are imports to Egypt.
Among Romanian exports to Egypt are: cereals (mostly wheat), petroleum derivatives, wood, chemicals, metal products, industrial and electrical equipment, machinery and spare parts, tires, furniture, etc. There are also Egyptian exports to Romania, quite well diversified: vegetables and fruits, food products, medicines, chemicals, plastics, ceramics and glass, textiles, some industrial and electrical equipment, and more.
“Egypt is committed to assisting the Government of the Republic of Moldova in its ongoing efforts to build and promote the capacity of its personnel”
The Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Romania is accredited for the Republic of Moldova as well. How do you evaluate the current level of trade, political, and technical relations between the Republic of Moldova and the Arab Republic of Egypt, and what are the priority directions for consolidating this bilateral cooperation?
Egypt was one of the first countries to recognize the Republic of Moldova after the dissolution of the former USSR! In the last three decades, bilateral relations between the two countries have seen gradual growth, especially in the commercial sector. In the last two years, both countries have shown openness to expanding their relations in many areas.
Egypt has become one of the most attractive destinations for Moldovan families since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. The Egyptian authorities have taken many measures to simplify the visa issuance process for Moldovan citizens, including granting visas on arrival at entry points and adding the Republic of Moldova to the list of countries eligible for electronic visas.
Bilateral trade has also seen significant leaps forward; there are now many Egyptian products on the Moldovan market, and both countries are working to expand the trade dimension between them. Egypt is one of the largest markets for wheat and apples. Politically, we have witnessed extensive movements between Cairo and Chisinau.
The two countries have managed to sign three memoranda of understanding:
- “Memorandum of Understanding on Establishing a Mechanism for Political Consultations”
- “Intergovernmental Agreement on Reciprocal Exemption from Visas for Holders of Diplomatic, Service, and Special Passports”
- “Memorandum of Understanding between the Diplomatic Institute”
Egypt is committed to assisting the Government of the Republic of Moldova in its ongoing efforts to build and promote the capacity of its personnel. In this context, Egypt has hosted 14 Moldovan candidates who participated in various training courses. Some of them include:
– “Development of Diplomatic Skills”
– “Qualification to Join Peacekeeping Operations as Observers”
– “The Role of Women as Civilian or Police Members in Peacekeeping Operations and Conflict Zones”
– “Protection of Civilians in Conflict Zones”
– “VIP and Vital Facility Protection.”