From Caesar Zvayi in ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
PRESIDENT Mugabe on Thursday met Egyptian leader Abdul Fattah al-Sisi who paid a courtesy call on him at his hotel.
It was the first meeting between the two leaders.Briefing journalists after the meeting, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said the two leaders discussed issues of common interest among them the Palestinian question, and areas of enhancing bilateral co-operation particularly in tourism as both countries have a rich cultural heritage.
“President Sisi of Egypt asked to pay a courtesy call on His Excellency the President, they have just met and it was a very, very warm meeting. They discussed our bilateral relations and how they can be brought back to the level they were before the Egyptian uprising.
“They also discussed issues of common interest like the Palestinian question and co-operation in the area of tourism,’’ Minister Mumbengegwi said.
Mr Sisi was accompanied by his foreign minister Mr Sameh Shukri.
Mr Sisi was the youngest member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces during the Egyptian uprising of 2011 serving as the director of military intelligence and reconnaissance. He was later chosen to replace Mohamed Hussein Tantawi and serve as the commander-in-chief and Minister of Defence and Military Production on August 12, 2012.
As the chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces, Mr Sisi was instrumental in ousting president Mohammed Morsi after an uprising against him in 2013.
He installed an interim government and remained as Minister of Defence in addition to becoming First Deputy Prime Minister.
On March 26, 2014, amid calls for Sisi to run for president, he resigned from the military announcing he would stand as a candidate in the 2014 presidential election that was scheduled for the end of May last year.
Mr Sisi won a resounding victory and was sworn into office as President of Egypt on June 8 last year.
Zimbabwe and Egypt enjoy good bilateral relations that stretch back to the days of the liberation struggle.