Egyptians in Jakarta celebrate a new era
Paper Edition | Page: 11
Members of the Egyptian community and a large number of friends of Egypt gathered in Jakarta on Tuesday to celebrate the 60th anniversary of their national revolution with a new spirit.
“Egypt and Indonesia have a very solid background and our country learned a lot from Indonesia in terms of democracy, on what you succeeded in doing, and failed to do during the revolution,” Ambassador Ahmed El Kewaisny told The Jakarta Post during a reception that also saw him bid farewell after serving for over four years in Jakarta.
Egypt started on the road to modernization after a military coup removed King Farouk in 1952. The country has now embarked on democracy following the overthrow of longtime authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak last year, bringing the country into a transitional period under the leadership of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.
A. M. Fachir, the Foreign Ministry’s director general for information and public diplomacy and former Indonesian ambassador to Egypt also mentioned the importance of both countries’ cooperation in promoting democratic values.
“Egypt and Indonesia should set examples to other countries on how to implement both democracy and Islamic values together,” Fachir said.
Although the value of trade between two countries has increased significantly during his tenure, Kewaisny believed both countries could increase the level of interaction mostly in trade and investment.
According to data from the Trade Ministry, total trade between the two countries reached US$1.58 billion in 2011, an increase from $1.07 billion a year earlier. During the first semester of 2012, trade reached $442 million, climbing 5.9 percent from the same period last year.
Kewaisny added that to strengthen the relationship, both countries should also invest more in many aspects. “We have to connect our universities and research centers, we have to invest more in each other, and provide scholarships, we have around 8,000 Indonesian students in Egypt and we gave 125 scholarships in Egypt, I want to bring 100 Egyptian students to Indonesia to interact and strengthen our good relationship,” he said.(nad)
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