Venezuela, Egypt celebrate 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Arab Republic of Egypt celebrated on November 15 the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic relations, ties that have been historically marked by friendship, cooperation, solidarity and mutual respect, serving as a precedent for relations in our country with Africa, being Egypt the continent’s second nation with which Venezuela established relations after Ethiopia.
On November 15, 1950, an agreement was formally signed in Washington, where then Ambassador to the United States, José Rafael Pocaterra, and his Egyptian counterpart, Mohamed Kamil Bey Abdul Rahim, exchanged notes.
The two nations initially managed their diplomatic relations through accredited countries. In 1958, thy decided to establish their diplomatic delegations in Cairo and Caracas, which became Embassies in 1959, a sign of the two countries’ growing interest in strengthening their ties.
Venezuela and Egypt have harmoniously developed their bilateral relations on the basis of points in common of their foreign policies, including a permanent political dialogue, cooperation in the United Nations System to make its contribution to world peace and the poorest countries’ economic development more democratic and effective. The two nations have also defended and expressed their solidarity with the Palestinian people.
For several decades, their relations were marked by the economic, commercial interest in their oil, energy and mining areas.
When Commander Hugo Chávez took office, and with the implementation of his new guidelines in foreign policy, including the relaunch of bilateral relations with African countries, the Vice Ministry for Africa of the of the Ministry for People’s Power for Foreign Affairs was created by late 2004.
Since then, Venezuela has strengthened its ties with Egypt through the exchange of ministerial visits, technical and cultural delegations, the establishment of the 1st Bilateral Joint Commission and meetings in different multilateral fora.
These meetings have helped them diversify their relations and cooperation in areas such as education, culture, information, technical assistance, energy and tourism.
- Cultural Cooperation Agreement, adopted on July 20, 1981.
- Executive Program for Cultural Exchange 1985-1988.
- Basic Agreement on Economic, Technical Cooperation, endorsed on June 14, 1988.
- Consultation Protocol between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, adopted on July 15, 1997.
- Tourism Cooperation Agreement, endorsed on June 17, 2000.
- Memorandum of Understanding between Venezuela’s Ministry of Energy and Mines and Egypt’s Ministry of Oil, signed on March 15, 2004.
- Memorandum of Understanding between Venezuela’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on academic and research cooperation, endorsed on January 31, 2005.
Though the 1988 Basic Agreement on Economic, Technical Cooperation established a Joint Commission, it did not take place until 2010.
The 1st Joint Commission, held in Egypt, produced important results to endorse the following legal instruments:
- Cooperation Agreement on Education.
- Cooperation Agreement on Information.
- 2010-2012 Executive Program for Cultural Exchange between the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Arab Republic of Egypt.
- Memorandum of Understanding for Water Management with agricultural purposes.
Thus, Venezuela-Egypt relations have developed with a particular interest in multilateralism since 2004, particularly through alliances and support based on the principles of respect and public international law.
Achievements resulting from the new approach of Venezuela’s foreign policy, promoted by President Hugo Chávez, include training in natural gas for Venezuelan staff in Egypt, implementation of the Egyptian International Center for Agriculture’s scholarship program, aimed at agriculture and water management with agricultural purposes, and the participation of two Egyptian companies in the Orinoco Oil Belt, including Egypt’s Engineering for the Petroleum & Process Industries (ENPPI).
Venezuela and Egypt have also strengthened their friendly ties through culture with the participation of Egypt in the 1st and 2nd Cultural Festival of African Peoples, held in Venezuela in 2005 and 2017, respectively.
Also, cultural groups such as Cantaduría Popular Venezolana have performed in Egypt’s Ismailia International Folklore Festival and Citadel Festival for Music, held in August and September 2019. Venezuelan movies have also been exhibited in Egypt’s International Film Festivals.
In the political and diplomatic fields, Venezuela and Egypt constantly support each other in different multilateral arenas, including Egypt’s support for and solidarity with the Venezuelan people amid the U.S. economic, commercial blockade imposed on Venezuela.
Currently, the Foreign Ministries and Embassies of Venezuela to Cairo and Egypt to Caracas are working hard to develop new cooperation projects in the diplomatic, academic, cultural heritage, aeronautical, pharmaceutical and agricultural fields as they foster new ways to boost trade.