Reviewed by: Wafaa El-houseiny
Translated by: Aya Barakat
Written by/ Mervat Sakr
Diplomatic relations are one of the most important components of international relations; as it represents one of the main means of interaction and cooperation between countries. Egyptian-Burundian relations are a model among these diplomatic relations, which deserves to be taken into consideration and studied, given the political, economic, and security dimensions that characterize the relations between the two countries.
The history of diplomatic relations between Egypt and Burundi dates back to a long period, which witnessed many transformations and developments over the years. We can understand the influences and influencers on the rapprochement and divergence in Egyptian-Burundian relations, by studying and following the history of relations between the two countries, especially after Burundi gained its independence in 1962, Burundi formed diplomatic relations with Egypt and established its embassy on December 8, 1964. Thus, Egypt was the first Arab and Islamic country to establish official diplomatic cooperation with Burundi at that time.
Below we present a glimpse of the most prominent and important mutual visits and meetings between the two brotherly countries: in the period from 2016 to 2023.
-President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi held a meeting with the Burundian Vice President while participating in the Arab-African Summit in Malabo; During the meeting, a message was delivered from the Burundian President to President El-Sisi on November 23, 2016, in which the importance of strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries was stressed and Egypt’s positions in support of resolving the crisis and restoring stability in Burundi were praised, and its keenness to coordinate with Burundi in regional and international forums, including Security Council.
-On May 16, 2017, Lieutenant General Ildefons Habarurema, Chief of the Military Staff of the Presidency of Burundi visited Egypt. He was welcomed by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, and during the meeting, Lieutenant General Habarurema presented the greetings of Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza and delivered a message from him, discussing ways to enhance bilateral relations between the two countries and achieve common interests in various fields.
-On November 25, 2017, Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza expressed his sincere condolences to Egypt and the Egyptian people for the martyrs of the Rawda Mosque accident, The Burundian President also thanked the representative of the Coptic Orthodox Church for the assistance that Burundi received from the Egyptian Church, especially the medical missions, and asked him to continue this, noting that Burundi; the land of God, receives everyone to perform their prayers, during his meeting with Dr. Abeer Bassiouni Radwan, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to Burundi, accompanied by Father Daoud Lamei, the ecclesiastical officer responsible for serving the Coptic Orthodox Church.
-On February 4, 2019, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi welcomed Burundian Foreign Minister Ezekiel Nibigira during his visit to Egypt. The President also asked Minister Nibigira to convey his warm greetings to President Pierre Nkurunziza. Egypt is proud of the strong relations of friendship and cooperation between the two countries and is committed to promoting further growth in these areas. Minister Nibigira conveyed the greetings of the President of Burundi to President EL-Sisi, praising the exceptional political and economic cooperation existing between the two countries. He also stressed Burundi’s keenness to strengthen this cooperation across multiple fields. In the meeting, they discussed many challenges facing the African continent related to terrorism and extremism, and their visions agreed that they need to enhance cooperation and coordination to achieve peace, security, and stability in Africa.
-On 3/25/2021, The Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad met with Dr. Deo-Guide Rurema Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Water of Burundi, to discuss joint environmental cooperation between the two countries in strengthening bilateral relations between Egypt and Burundi in various fields at the Center for Environment, Culture and Education (Cairo House) in Fustat. Minister of Environment Jasmine Fouad also affirmed Egypt's desire, represented by the Ministry of Environment, to take advantage of the possibility of supporting several environmental protection projects within the framework of Egypt's advanced experience in the reuse of agricultural waste through a memorandum of cooperation to be signed between the two sides in the field of environmental protection within the framework of the memorandum of understanding.
-On January 25, 2022, the President of Burundi, Evariste Ndayishimiye, met Ambassador Yasser Al-Atwi, the Egyptian Ambassador to Burundi and the aim of the meeting was to discuss enhancing and strengthening relations between the two countries in various sectors. During the meeting, the Egyptian ambassador reviewed the influential and essential role that Egypt plays within Africa with the established local Egyptian movement in various circles and activities of the African Union to achieve rapprochement and preserve African interests, taking into account the prestigious position that Egypt occupies in Africa and the world, in order to achieve the desires and aspirations of the African peoples in Prosperity, progress and stability in accordance with the directives of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to provide full support. The Burundian President also expressed his great pride and gratitude to the Egyptian President for his sincere and tangible efforts to preserve all African rights in various fields while supporting Burundi’s valuable sovereignty as witnessed and appreciated by the Burundian people and the ongoing development and growth plans in various sectors of the Burundian state.
-On October 6, 2022, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Burundi, Albert Shingiro, met Ambassador Yasser Al-Atawi, the Egyptian Ambassador to Burundi. The meeting discussed ways to enhance bilateral relations between the two countries in various fields, and the Egyptian ambassador explained Egypt’s ongoing efforts to host the 27th Egyptian Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. During the meeting, the Burundian Foreign Minister noted the concrete measures taken since the visit of the Burundian President to strengthen bilateral relations in various fields, praising Egypt's integrated support program that has been implemented so far.
-On January 2, 2023, Ambassador Yasser Al-Atawi, the Egyptian Ambassador to Burundi, met with Burundian Prime Minister Gervais Ndirakobuca. This meeting stressed the importance of the strength and distinction of bilateral relations between the two countries and the transition of the level of relations to the level of strategic relations in light of the efforts made by the two countries to improve various aspects of bilateral relations in implementing directives of the political leaders of the two countries.
-On May 23, 2023, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi met with the Prime Minister of Burundi, Gervais Ndirakobuca, on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the African Development Bank in Sharm El-Sheikh. The two sides also stressed the remarkable level of bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries, whether at the level of political coordination and consultation or at the level of economic cooperation, which has recently witnessed remarkable progress. The Burundian Prime Minister also thanked Mr. President for Egypt’s continued support for his country with regard to Burundi’s development needs and building the capabilities of cadres, in addition to its support for Burundi in various international and regional forums, which represent a model of cooperation and mutual coordination between sisterly African countries.
The meeting also witnessed discussions on developments. The latter regional area is of common interest, especially with regard to the Great Lakes region, East Africa, and the Nile Basin.
In conclusion, this article is the beginning of a series of articles related to areas of joint cooperation between the two countries. We will address various areas to enhance bilateral relations and deepen understanding and cooperation between the two countries.
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