Egypt and Yemen
Monday، 08 November 2010 12:00 AM
Egyptian-Yemeni relations date back hundreds of years, representing a historical relationship since ancient times. One of the oldest evidences confirming those deep-rooted relations between the two countries is that the Egyptian Emperor Thutmose III received a gift from Sabaean merchants "relative to the Kingdom of Sheba, which is Yemen now" as well as the Yemeni merchants were the main suppliers of the incense of the ancient Egyptian temples.
Egypt represents the main pillar of the Arab countries and plays an important role in maintaining the security and stability of the Arab countries and the entire Arab region. In this respect, both Egypt and Yemen played an important role in the establishment of the Arab League, and Egypt participated in the era of President Abdel Nasser in the Yemeni war, while Yemen stood by Egypt in the October 1973 war against the Israeli occupation.
Yemen has an important and distinct geographical location concerning the security of the Arab Gulf, which represents an important pillar of the Egyptian national security, as it overlooks Bab el-Mandab Strait that recently represented great importance to the countries of the world after the establishment of the Suez Canal. Accordingly, Yemen represents a special importance to Egypt in terms of its important and distinguished position in preserving Egyptian interests and not endangering Egyptian national security, in addition to protecting Bab el-Mandab Strait from any threats that may harm Egyptian interests. This was sound clear in Egypt's participation in the international coalition in Yemen against armed groups.
The Egyptian position on the Yemeni crisis
Egypt asserted the importance of Gulf security and its support to Saudi Arabia in its stance against the Houthi militia in Yemen in support of the political legitimacy of President Mansour Hadi and the Yemeni constitution.
Egypt secured its interests in Bab el-Mandab Strait for fear of the unstable conditions in Yemen and to maintain water security in the Suez Canal.
The Egyptian position towards the Yemeni crisis agrees with the Saudi position, in particular, and the Gulf position, in general. However, the Egyptian position is generally characterized by being stable towards the Yemeni crisis since its beginning due to its importance as regards the Gulf and Egyptian national security.
Egypt provided political support to the authority of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, as Cairo took a decision on February 23, 2015 to close its embassy in the capital, Sanaa, after armed groups had taken control of it and in line with the Gulf and international positions to close their embassies as well. Also, the Foreign Ministry affirmed the support to legitimate institutions and state symbols, stressing that all parties should abide by the means of dialogue, avoid the use of violence the Gulf initiative and commit to the Gulf initiative, the outcomes of the National Dialogue, the Peace and National Partnership Agreement, and Security Council resolutions regarding the crisis in Yemen. In continuation of the political support for the legitimate authority in Yemen and in line with regional and international positions, Egypt announced the reopening of its embassy in the city of Aden after President Mansour Hadi made it his headquarters.
Egypt supported the military operation in Yemen, after Saudi Arabia had announced directing a military campaign, which is called the “Decisive Storm”, against the Houthi strong holds in Yemen. In this respect, Egypt announced its full support to the military campaign as well as its participation in the campaign that consisted of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Egypt, Morocco, Sudan and Jordan, with international support from Security Council.
Egypt asserted the commitment to the Gulf Initiative, as the Egyptian Foreign Ministry stressed the need to adhere to a political solution based on the Gulf initiative, its implementation mechanisms and the relevant Security Council resolutions. It, also, confirmed the necessity of restoring the legitimacy and adhering to the foundations of dialogue as well as the road map and a peaceful transfer of power to achieve the interests of the Yemeni society.
On 5/8/2015, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi received Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi who is currently in Egypt to take part in the inauguration of the New Suez Canal.
On 12/7/2015, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi received Yemeni Vice President Khaled Bahah. Attending the meeting were the Yemeni ministers of planning, international cooperation, human rights and interior along with the Yemeni delegate to the Arab League. Sisi affirmed Egypt's constant support for Yemen and all the efforts exerted to preserve Yemen's security and stability.
On 17/6/2015, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab received his Yemeni counterpart Khalid Bahah. During a meeting, Mahlab called for resuming sessions of the joint higher committee to bolster bilateral relations in all fields.
On 23/5/2015, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi received Yemeni President Abdel Rabou Mansour Hadi's personal envoy in the presence of Yemen's Permanent Delegate to the Arab League Ambassador Mohammad Al Haisami. The President stressed profound relations binding Egypt and Yemen at both the popular and official levels.
On 27/3/2015, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi received Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi who arrived in Sharm El Sheikh to take part in the 26th meeting of the Arab summit.
On 7/9/2014, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with his Yemeni counterpart Jamal al-Salal on the sidelines of the Arab League ministerial council. During the meeting, Salal conveyed Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi's greetings to his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah El Sisi.
Egyptian –Yemeni Economic relation have witnessed a great development over past year .As their relations are governed by an integrated legal framework to regulate cooperation in all fields, especially economic and commercial ones.
During the period 13-17 May 2006, The Sixth Round of the Higher Egyptian-Yemeni Committee was held in Sanaa, under chairmanship of the Prime Ministers of both countries as co-chairs. The agreements, protocols, and memorandums of understanding signed at the end of the round.
The joint Egyptian-Yemeni Higher Committee held its sixth sessions headed by both the prime ministers of the two countries at Sana’a city. In which a lot of agreements; protocols; memorandum of understanding have been signed at the end of the session.
On 9/6/2009, a new headquarters for the Medical Counselor Office in the Egyptian Embassy has been inaugurated .It is fully managed at the expense of the Egyptian government and with highly experienced cadres, and aims to provide treatment services and medical consultations to all Yemeni people who wish to receive treatment in Egypt, in addition to exchanging experiences; training convoy and facilitate communication among universities in the two countries
The Yemeni embassy has conducted a lot of activities in augmenting Egyptian investment, as participating with companies; government agencies in envents,exhibition and economic activities that have been hosted by the two countries.
It resulted in the participation of thirty Egyptian company in October 2009 at Sanaa International Book Fair and several deals have been held in textile and food stuff fields.
The Yemeni embassy organized an exhibition for the Egyptian products that had been set up by an Egyptian private sector company in March 2009, in which 30 Egyptian companies participated.
On August 9, 2010, the Joint Egyptian Technical Committee for Oil, Gas and Mining Technical Commission finalized a project to establish a joint Egyptian petroleum company. It is considered the first of its kind between the two countries in petroleum field.
The Yemeni-Egyptian fisheries joint committee approved in its schedule on January 17th, 18th 2010 the establishment of a Yemeni-Egyptian joint company in fishery industry.
It also approved a specific mechanism to regulate fishing operations in accordance with the new Yemeni law, to consider a project to establish joint fishing companies, and to consider the issue of landing fish ships in Yemeni ports in accordance with the Yemeni law and that is to be done by establishing facilities in Yemeni ports that allow the landing process and preparing fish for export.
On 12th July 2015, the eighth High Egyptian -Yemeni joint committee was held at the headquarters of the Council of Ministers. The Egyptian side headed by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahalab. Also, the Egyptian side was represented at the discussion by ministers: planning, health, transitional justice, international cooperation, and the interior. While the Yemeni side was chaired by Eng. Khalid Baek, Vice-President of the Republic and President of the Yemeni Prime Minister. The Yemeni side represented by ministers: planning, international cooperation, interior, and human rights.
Mahalab pointed out that the volume of trade between the two countries amounted to $906 million, while the Egyptian exports amounted to $888, and the Egyptian imports amounted to $18 million. Specifying that Yemeni contributions to 284 investment projects in Egypt up to 2014 amounted to $250 million in sectors: Agriculture, industry, services, construction, communications and information technology.
On 13th August 2018, the Egyptian President Abd el Fattah el- Sisi received Yemeni President Mansour Hadi on his visit to Egypt.
The Co-Chairs both witnessed the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding between the Egyptian Central Bank and its Yemeni counterpart on cooperation in the banking sector, especially in the fields of skills exchange and training of workers in this sector.
The volume of trade exchange between the two countries during the period January -May 2018 amounted to $318.8 million, the trade balance in this economic relationship came in favor of Egypt as the Egyptian exports to Yemen exceeded its imports from it with a value that exceeds $ 229.7 million. Egypt’s exported to Yemeni dozens of goods and products of which imports amounted to about $89 million.
Egypt is considered one of the most important markets to Yemeni export destination. As its ranks become the second after Saudi Arabia. According to the statistical data ,the most important Yemeni imports from Egypt’s goods and products represented in clothes; electric appliances; food stuffs; perfumes; medicine and others. While Egypt’s imports from Yemen are agricultural goods as: wheat; maize, as well as fertilizers; coffee and tea.
The Non- Petroleum Egyptian exports increased by 2.3%during the first ten months of 2019 to record $21.322 billion compared to$ 20.835 billion during the same period of 2018.
President of the General Export and Import Control Board, Ismail Jaber said that there are four exports sectors that had achieved tangible growth included exports of food industry ,As it registered $2.877 billion, compared to $2.597 billion over the same period in 2018 with an increase of 11%.
Also, agricultural exports recorded $1.994 billion compared to $1.926 billion during the same period from 2018 with an increase of 9%.
Garment sectors is about $1.408billion compared to $1.309 billion during the same period of 2018 with an increase of 8%.
Engineering industry about $2.052 compared to $2 billion with an increase of 3% over the same period last year.
In 2018, Egyptian total volume exports to Yemen amounted to $278.5 billion
In 2019, Egyptian total volume exports to Yemen amounted to $ 383.4 billion
During the period January-May 2020 Egyptian total volume exports to Yemen amounted to $113.4 billion.
During the first three months of 2020, Ceramic exports to the Republic of Yemen declined to reach $4.7 million compared to $5.2 million during the same period in 2019 with a 10% decline.
The number of Yemeni people that live in Egypt about 1 million person.
Many Yemeni people Prefer to invest in Egypt's real estate market as it being one of Egypt's most prominent investment sectors in Egypt. Information indicates that Yemenis lives in Egypt own 250,000 apartments and real estate units, including 40,000 apartments with amounts ranging from $ 50,000 to $ 100,000, at an amount Up to $ 3 billion.
Yemeni total investment in Egypt amounted to $12 billion
Yemeni people who live in Egypt also were in favor of investing in luxurious restaurants, companies and productive factories, especially in food stuffs.
The Yemeni investment in Egypt witnessed significant growth over the the period 2015-2019, this included various sectors as: food and beverage industries; the plastic industry and the real estate sector, and have recently extended investment in petroleum and drilling sectors. Some Yemeni companies have become major companies in Egypt and in the Middle East as well, especially companies manufacturing glassware, manufacturing ghee, soap, aluminum, and a large manufacturer of cardboard manufacturers and apparel factories.
Yemeni family has arrived to Egypt from half 2018-half 2019 .Their investments reached $ 250 million at various sector as: real estate and education.
As for investment in Yemen all the reports that have issued from concerned Yemeni said that Egypt has a wide range of chances to invest at Yemen especially in medicine industry; fish; shoes industry ,those are sectors that are in more need to Egyptian investments.
Also, those reports have assured that the future of Egyptian –Yemeni investments in Egypt will become better during the coming period especially under the current efforts that have been exerted by both countries.
Observing geographical; strategic location of the two countries we one finds that both countries’goverened the north and south ports of the Red Sea. As such they both own the key to international commercial road that leads to 65% from international energy resource.
Developing and extending Egyptian –Yemeni relation especially on the economical level will be for the interest of both countries this according to the reports that have been issued from concerned Yemeni economic ministries.
During the coming period, Yemen is keen to attract more Egyptian investments and to orient their investments towards various sectors as: pharmaceuticals, fish, textile industry, and others, such as tourism and hotels. This can be achieved by activating the role of the Joint Higher Committee for Economic and Technical Cooperation between the two countries to make use of the different potential of every country.
On 6 / 2 / 2020, a private plane carrying 32 Egyptian fishermen who had been detained in Yemen since December 2019 arrived at Cairo airport.
The 32 fishermen were from Ezbet El-Borg of Damietta governorate. They have taken two fishing boats with the name “One Two" and "El Mostafa El hadi” who had approached the Red Sea. They were detained for breaching Yemeni waters .They were arrested for violating the territorial waters and hunting without permission as they have no license.
Egyptian efforts to release them and return them to Egypt have been welcomed by Ambassador Nabila Makram, Minister of Immigration.
All returning fishermen confirmed that they had received good and good treatment throughout their detention, and no one had been harmed.
On 20/7/2020 Minister of State for Migration and Expatriates Affairs Nabila Makram received Yemeni minister of expatriates, Alawi Bafaqih, to discuss cooperation between the two countries and exchange of expertise in the migration affairs file.
The Yemeni minister was visiting Egypt as part of a delegation accompanying Yemeni Prime Minister Maaen Abdel Malik to discuss with Prime minister Mostafa Madbouli bilateral cooperation.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Migration and Expatriates Affairs on 20/7/2020 said Makram praised relations between the two countries, saying the bilateral migration file has witnessed a significant progress as the two ministers discussed efforts of confronting illegal migration.
For his part, the Yemeni minister praised historical relations binding the two countries saying such bilateral meetings with Egyptian officials affirm the need of fostering cooperation in the migration file between the two countries as Egypt hosts about 1 million Yemenis.
Bafakih also has drawn attention to the Yemeni side keenness to benefit from Egypt’s experience in dealing with the second and third generation of Egyptians abroad, and to work on linking them to their motherland, which represents a fortification for them from any extremist ideas that may dominate them under the current circumstances, as well as Egypt dealings with its scholars and experts abroad through the series of conferences that ha been known as “Egypt Can”.
On 5/8/2015, Egypt dispatched a plane full of medical equipment and food stuffs as a gift for the Yemeni people. Egypt also sent a large number of doctors there to offer health care to Yemeni people. Egypt provided aid to Sana. This happened according to Egypt’s capabilities and according to the agreements and minutes that have been signed between the two countries. Among these aids:
-Providing Yemeni Education Ministry with a number of Egyptian teachers in various educational stages.
-Providing a number of experts working in government agencies with financing part of the salaries of some of them.
-Providing the Ministry of Education with quantities of textbooks and laboratories.
- Building (3) schools in Sana; Taiz and Ibb
-Building Egyptian Nasser Hospital in Ibb
- Dispatching a number of Egyptian medical missions to work in Yemeni hospitals
- A joint Egyptian-Yemeni high committee holds its session headed by the prime ministers of the two countries Egypt and Sanaa alternate lively. As such, a number of agreements; protocols and memorandums of understanding have been signed.
-Anew headquarters of the Office of the Medical Adviser has been inaugurated at the Egyptian Embassy in Sana'a at the expense of the Egyptian Government, with high-level cadres, aimed at providing best treatment services, medical counselling to all siblings in Yemen who wish to be treated at Egypt, as well as exchanging experiences, training convoys and facilitating communication between universities in both countries.
On 5/4/2018, Egypt has sent the first shipment of Egyptian humanitarian aid that has been in favor of the brotherly Yemeni people. It has been sent on two consignments of 10 tons of medicines, vaccines and medical supplies.
It has been sent in solidarity with the brotherly Yemeni people, and in implementation of the directives of the Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
On 26/7/2020, as of the directives of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Lieutenant General Mohamed Zaki, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and Minister of Defense and Military Production, ordered the specialized departments to prepare and supply an aid of shipment of medical supplies and disinfectants, to stand by the brotherly Yemeni people in their trouble and confront the spread of a virus Corona and other epidemics spreading in Yemen, where the aid has been transported via a military transport plane to be delivered to the legitimate Yemeni government through the King Salman Relief and Humanitarian Aid Center in Raya.
Cultural and educational relations are a fundamental pillar of the relations
between the two countries.Educational cooperation between Egypt and Yemen
has grown in recent years, and there are more than 1,300 students from Yemen
studying in various branches in Egyptian universities, in addition to about fifty
thousand Yemeni visitors who come to Egypt for tourism and medical treatment
According to the educational cooperation agreement between the
two countries, Yemen offers 20 university scholarships exempt from
fees annually to Egyptian students, while Egypt offers 40 university
scholarships in addition to 25 scholarships in the field of postgraduate
studies free of charge, exchange of experiences and organizing
training courses for workers in higher education institutions as well.
An agreement of cooperation was signed between Egypt and Yemen
effective from 2003 to 2005. By virtue of the agreement, Egypt provided
3 scholarships annually to Yemeni students to obtain B.Sc., M.A. and Ph.D.
degrees from the Academy of Arts in Cairo. Yemenis would be allowed to
study archaeology, music, plastic arts, and cinema and theater.
Yemen would in turn receive Egyptian experts in archaeology and librarianship.
In October 2009 Egypt participated in Sanaa International Book Fair
with 250 publishing Houses. (Half the participating role).
In March 2010 The ministry of Culture participated in the International
Sanaa Art Forum with more than 30 artistic works for Egyptian artists.
In 20004, Menoufia University hosted 143 Arab students from universities,
including the Yemeni ones, to receive training in the faculties and institutes
of the university and some laboratories, factories and industrial institutions
in Menoufia Governorate in accounting, computer, agriculture, engineering,
science and home economics.
During the past years, A number of cooperation agreements have been
signed between the Egyptian and the Yemeni universities.
Among them are: The cultural and scientific cooperation agreement
between the universities of Minya and Sana; the agreement between
the universities of Ibb and the Suez Canal to enhance cooperation
between them, especially in dentistry field; and the Scientific
and Cultural cooperation agreement between the universities of Taiz
and the Suez Canal University to develop cooperation between them and
provide scholarships to Taiz University, in addition to the executive program
for cultural cooperation between Yemen and Egypt that are specialized in
organizing cultural relationship between the two countries
On 15/7/2018 Dr Tarek Shawky, minister of Education and technical
education agreed upon renewing the decree treating Yemeni students as equal as
Egyptians enjoying all facilities for the academic year 2018/2019.
This comes within the framework of Egypt's support to Yemeni brothers
in their crisis and the ministry's role in supporting the Arab brothers.
The Education Ministry have agreed to treat Yemeni students the same
treatment as Egyptian students, and these approvals have been renewed
annually, the last of which was at 2017/2018 academic year.
On 11/4/2017, Egypt and Yemen signed a memorandum of understanding
to promote cooperation in various fields, on educational, scientific,
cultural, research, training and exchange of experience.
President of Assiut University, Dr, Ahmed Abdo said that this comes within
the context of the university's keenness to achieve fruitful cooperation
with all Arab and foreign universities and to promote actual contact
and partnership through exchanging successful experience on the research and
educational scales for development.
Dr. Tarek El Gamal ,deputy of Assiut university for graduate studies and
research ,declared that the memo includes providing MA an PH.D scholarships
and facilitating registration for Taaz university students and to treat them
as equal as Egyptian students and encouraging the exchange of visits of
professors and students' delegations for training purposes on various
domains. The term of this agreement is three years.
Every year Egypt receives 4 Yemeni trainees in the field of Theatre, cinema
and arts for a four week training course in addition to exchanging artistic
bands of 150 member on yearly bases to demonstrate their artistic shows for
Educational cooperation between Egypt and Yemen witnessed increasing growth in recent years after the signing of an educational agreement.
An educational agreement has been signed between Egypt and Yemen by virtue of which Yemeni educationalists are offered free-of-charge scholarships in Egypt and the other way round.
The agreement also covers training courses and the exchange of expertise between workers in higher education institutions.