Dec 11, 2017 17:47 UTC
  • Putin, Sisi sign deal on construction of Egypt's 1st nuclear power plant

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi have signed a bilateral agreement on the construction of the first nuclear power plant in the North African country.

The two presidents agreed on Monday to build Egypt’s first nuclear power plant in the city of Dabaa, located on the Mediterranean coast and about 130 Kilometers northwest of the country’s capital Cairo.

The contract was signed by Alexei Likhachev, the head of Russian state nuclear company Rosatom, and Egypt's Electricity and Renewable Energy Minister Mohamed Shaker.

The plant, which is to house four 1,200-megawatt nuclear reactors, is due to be completed in 2022 and possibly generate power in 2024.

Egyptian media reports put the construction cost of Dabaa nuclear power plant at around 30 billion dollars.

The accord was initially signed in February 2015, but Moscow-Cairo relations were badly impacted after the horrific Russian passenger plane crash in Sinai in October that year, when all 224 people on board were killed.

The two leaders also agreed on resuming Russian flights to Egypt as soon as possible during their talks on Monday.

Speaking on state television during his visit to Egypt, Putin stressed the importance of "the immediate resumption of Palestinian-Israeli talks over all disputed issues, including the status of al-Quds.”

"These agreements must be in harmony with previous decisions of the international community," the Russian president said, adding that "Russia fully supports previous Security Council resolutions.”

Putin added that any steps which would pre-empt a possible agreement between Zionist regime and the Palestinians were "counterproductive and destabilizing."

Putin to discuss Syrian peace process with Erdogan

Meanwhile, the Russian leader is due to fly to Turkey after his visit to Egypt.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced that Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan would discuss a possible political resolution to the Syrian crisis when they meet.

Peskov said the two leaders would also negotiate preparatory measures for the work of a proposed National Dialogue Congress that aims to bring together the Syrian government and the opposition.

The plan had been announced by Russia after the latest peace talks on Syria, which were also backed by Turkey and Iran, in the Kazakh capital, Astana.