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15 Jan 2017

Presidents of Belarus, Egypt negotiating in Cairo

CAIRO, 15 January (BelTA) – Official negotiations between Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and Egypt President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi are in progress in the Al Ittihadiya Palace (Heliopolis Palace), Cairo, BelTA has learned.

An official ceremony to welcome the Belarus President took place before the talks started. National anthems of the two countries were performed and a guard of honor was arranged. The negotiations began as one-on-one talks. They will be followed by expanded-participation talks. A number of bilateral documents are supposed to be signed after the talks.

The Al Ittihadiya Palace was built in 1910 as the Heliopolis Palace Hotel. The building was used as a hospital for British soldiers during World War One and World War Two. Later on various government agencies started using the hotel as offices. The Federation of Arab Republics was once headquartered in the palace, this is why the palace was renamed into Al Ittihadiya, which means “federation” in Arabic. The building became a residence of the Egypt president after a major overhaul and restoration in the 1980s.

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