Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang concludes African tour with talks in Egypt
China's foreign minister Qin Gang held talks on Sunday with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and his counterpart Sameh Shoukry in Cairo during the last stop in a week-long African tour to Ethiopia, Gabon, Anglo and Benin.
In a joint press conference, Shoukry said the talks were about Sino-Egyptian ties and boosting Chinese tourism to Egypt, a vital sector and one of the North African country's major sources of national income.
Egyptian tourism has been struggling in recent years amid global crises including the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war.
The two parties also conferred regional issues, particularly the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Since December, tensions have been increasing in Palestine, as Israeli forces unleashed a brutal wave of raids and killings that have claimed the lives of more than 200 Palestinians and after the return to office of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu leading far-right, fundamentalist government.
Qin called on Israel to "end incitement and provocation and refrain from unilateral action that could worsen the situation."
The Chinese FM also called for "maintaining the status quo" in Jerusalem's most significant Islamic holy site, the Al Aqsa mosque, after an ultra-conservative and far-right Israeli minister, Ben-Gvir, stormed the compound earlier this month sparking turmoil.
Qin further reiterated China's stance of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on "the two-state solution and the land-for-peace principle."
In his meeting with al-Sisi, Qin said Beijing will continue to invest in Egypt's infrastructure projects, including those linked to China's Belt and Road Initiative.
China supplied vaccines to Africa and funded the construction of a new headquarters for the African Center for Disease Control in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The new centre opened last week during Qin's visit.
Qin's tour of Africa, where China has invested around US$160 billion over the past two decades in infrastructure projects, is believed to be Beijing's reaction to last month's summit in Washington between US president Joe Biden and several African leaders.
Biden pledged government funding and private investments in health, infrastructure, business and technology sectors.