Egypt's role in Arab League will help improve regional situation - Lavrov
"Egypt is a leading nation in the Middle East and northern Africa, and is the Arab League's leader. We would like this role to manifest itself in full during the final stages of the stabilization of the situation in Egypt and to produce a healing effect on the situation in the region," Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow after talks with his Egyptian counterpart Nabil Fahmy.
Moscow and Cairo share the position that the countries of this region have the right to decide their future freely and independently without external interference, he said. Russia supports Egypt's efforts to maintain the level of world order and to fight terrorism, he said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accepted his Egyptian counterpart Nabil Fahmy's invitation to visit Cairo.
"Nabil Fahmy has invited me to visit Cairo again. I accept this invitation and I hope we can agree on the best date for this visit," Lavrov told a press conference after meeting with Fahmy in Moscow on Monday.
Russia and Egypt are interested in preventing any disruption of the conference that will address the creation of a zone free from weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the Middle East, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
"Russia and Egypt are interested in preventing the disruption of this vital initiative," Lavrov told a press conference in Moscow following a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart Nabil Fahmy.
The initiative to call such a conference was put forward by the international community back three and a half years ago, but this initiative still has not been acted upon, he said.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy has thanked Russia for its non-interference in last summer's events in Egypt and lauded the Russian policy promoting stability in the Middle East.
"I would like to thank Russia for its clear and logical role and its wise position on the Egyptian situation, including its refusal to interfere," he said before starting Moscow negotiations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
"I would also like to praise Russian diplomatic efforts as a whole in the settlement of regional disputes and normalization of regional countries," Fahmy said.
In turn, Lavrov expressed the interest of Moscow in the stability of Egypt and the independent choice of its future by the Egyptian people.
"We are interested in the leading role of Egypt in the Arab world and its provision of a balanced and fair approach of the League of Arab States to regional developments," Lavrov said.
Egypt incurs multi-million dollar losses from the travel alerts issued by the Russian Federal Tourism Agency and the Russian Foreign Ministry, Egyptian Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou said on Monday.
"Russian tourists visiting Egyptian resort towns spend approximately $85 per day. You may calculate the losses if you multiply this sum by the number of Russians who did not come here. Egypt has sustained multi-million dollar losses," the minister said.
He said the decline in tourist arrivals was catastrophic. "About 2.5 million Russians visited Egypt last year.
The number of tourist arrivals grew 24% in July 2013 alone and we were aiming at over 3 million Russian tourists in 2013 but the number of arrivals dropped abruptly in August.
It declined by 45% in the first half of August and 70% in the last two weeks [of that month]. Now there are practically no Russian tourists in Egyptian resorts," Zaazou said.
The Foreign Minister of Egypt Nabil Fahmy has arrived in Moscow for a two day working visit to discuss the situation in the Middle East and in Syria, and Syrian chemical weapons with Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov.
The two Ministers will also discuss the state of affairs in Egypt itself following the changeover of the top leadership of the country in July.
A Russian Foreign Ministry official said the upcoming meeting will enable the two sides to discuss the resumption of the political process and ensuring the steady functioning of state bodies and securing a proper level of protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the country's citizens".
"Moscow proceeds from the position that the Egyptian people be able to independently and without external interference determine their future through a nationwide dialogue," the Ministry official said.
The Ministers are to touch upon the most important aspects of the bilateral agenda. "Egypt is one of Russia's foremost partners in the Arab world," the Ministry official pointed out. "Our two countries are securely brought together by long-standing relations of friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation based on genuine mutual respect".
The sides are expected to map out "basic orientations for joint work to further the development of foreign-policy interaction and promote the entire set of bilateral ties".
Moscow "is interested in the maintenance of the active and influential role of Cairo in international, Middle Eastern and African affairs," the Russian Foreign Ministry official emphasized.
Voice of Russia, RIA, Interfax