March 13, 2010 / 4:12 PM / 10 years ago

Egypt, Russia press ahead for free trade agreement

Egyptian Trade Minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid attends a conference in Cairo December 23, 2009. REUTERS/Tarek Mostafa

CAIRO (Reuters) - Officials from Egypt and Russia will meet in Cairo in July to continue negotiations for a free trade agreement between the two countries, the state-owned daily al-Ahram reported on Saturday.

Trade between Russia and Egypt reached more than $2 billion despite the global financial crisis, the paper quoted Egypt’s Trade Minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid as saying following a news conference in Cairo.

“There is a strategic direction by the two countries to speed up a free trade agreement to increase economic cooperation,” al-Ahram quoted Rachid as saying.

Russia will take part in a tender to build Egypt’s nuclear power plant, al-Ahram quoted Rachid’s Russian counterpart Viktor Khristenko as saying during the conference. The most populous Arab country aims to shift away from oil and gas to other energy sources.

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