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Lukashenko tours Egypt's New Administrative Capital

CAIRO (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi got familiar with the progress made in the construction of Egypt's New Administrative Capital, located 45km to the east of Cairo, BelTA has learned.

The Belarusian leader began his familiarization trip to New Cairo (called so by the public) early in the morning. Egypt President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi met Aleksandr Lukashenko near Al Masa Capital which is home to Africa's biggest congress center, 14 presidential residences, 60 hotel apartments and Al Masa Royal Palace Hotel.

These days the venue is hosting the first meeting of the Belarusian-Egyptian business cooperation council and an exhibition of joint science and technology projects, promising technology, high-tech products, and large-sized machinery produced by MTZ, MAZ, Amkodor, Bobruiskagromash and Minsk Motor Plant.

After a short conversation, the heads of state went to see the New Administrative Capital. The concept of this large-scale project was presented several years ago. The Egyptian authorities developed it to address Cairo's overpopulating issue. According to forecasts, the city's population may reach 40 million by 2050. Today, Cairo is home to almost 10 million people. Over 20 million live in the agglomeration.

The Belarusian head of state was told that the project is implemented following the smart city of the future principle. Egypt's new capital will feature administrative and financial centers. It will be home to the main government agencies, embassies, representative offices of international organizations and foreign companies. The new capital will consist of more than 20 residential districts for 6.5 million people, a large park and artificial lakes, about 2,000 educational institutions and a large technology park, over 600 hospitals and medical centers, a new international airport and a high-speed railway to Cairo.

First of all, the presidents visited the City for Culture and Arts. The City will feature a library, several theaters, exhibition halls, museums and galleries, as well as cafes and restaurants. The inauguration of the City will coincide with the transfer of the government bodies to the New Administrative Capital in 2020-2021.

In New Cairo, the presidents got familiar with the sports city. Aleksandr Lukashenko was shown a swimming pool and an ice palace which are currently under construction and was asked about the Belarusian experience in building such facilities. According to the president, the sports center can be equipped with a multi-use sport court to host various sport and entertainment events. The president is convinced that ice hockey can also be developed in Egypt. “Egypt is in an area where ice hockey can be developed. We made the first ice hockey arena in the Emirates,” he said.

The leaders of the two countries also got familiar with the Parliament Building and the government district, where the construction of the building of the Cabinet of Ministers is almost complete. Later, ten more complexes will be built there to house 34 ministries. The government and ministries are expected to move to new offices in mid 2020.

The Parliament Building will consist of office, administrative and service locations (the main building of the House of Representatives, a mosque, a medical center, a police station, a civil registry office, a car park, garages and many more). The Egyptian MPs plan to move there in 2020.

Before departing to the airport, Aleksandr Lukashenko and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi returned to Al Masa Capital to see the exhibition of joint science and technology projects. The Egyptian president was shown Belarusian innovations in military, healthcare, industrial and machine-building sectors. Then the two heads of state visited the exposition of Belarusian-Egyptian products: MAZ trucks, MTZ tractors, equipment of Amkodor, Bobruiskagromash and Minsk Motor Plant.