Estonia and Egypt
The Republic of Estonia and the Arab Republic of Egypt recognised each other through respective membership in the League of Nations (Estonia acceded in 1922, Egypt in 1937).
In 1927, the Estonian Consul General in Athens (and later in Istanbul) was assigned to represent Estonia’s consular interests in Egypt. In 1933 Danish citizen Anton Nyegaard was appointed to serve as Estonian Honorary Consul in Cairo (covering all of Egypt).
Egypt re-recognised the Republic of Estonia on 6 September 1991. Diplomatic relations were established on 2 January 1992. In March 2010, the Estonian Embassy in
Cairo was opened. The Estonian Embassy in Cairo is the only Estonian Embassy in an Arab country and on the continent of Africa.
The Estonian Ambassador in Cairo is Mr. Paul Teesalu. Ambassador Teesalu is also accredited to the League of Arab States.
Egyptian Ambassador to Estonia Mr. Mohamed Abdel Hamid Kassem resides in Helsinki.Visits
January 2005 - visit of Foreign Minister Kristiina Ojuland to Egypt
November 2005 – Prime Minister Andrus Ansip met with Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif at the Euromed Summit in Barcelona
December 2007 – Prime Minister Andrus Ansip met with Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif in the framework of the EU- African Union Summit in Lisbon
March 2009 – Foreign Minister Urmas Paet met Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit in Cairo prior to the international donors’ conference for the reconstruction of Gaza
March 2010 – Official visit of Foreign Minister Urmas Paet to Egypt, during which he opened the Estonian Embassy in Egypt
November 2012 – Foreign Minister Urmas Paet attended the European Union-League of Arab States Foreign Ministers meeting in Cairo
- Agreement for economic, technical and research co-operation between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt (came into force 9 February 1999)
- Cultural co-operation memorandum between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt (signed 12 May 2004)
- Memorandum of understanding for co-operation between the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Estonia and the Foreign Ministry of the Arab Republic of Egypt (came into force 24 January 2005)
There is a big potential in developing trade and economic relations. Egypt is the main holiday destination for Estonian tourists, catering more than 50 000 Estonian tourists in a year.
Estonian-Egypt trade (special trade, in millions EUR):
The main export in 2011 was cardboard and paper pulp (ca 90% of total exports).
On 12 May 2004, the Memorandum of Cultural Co-operation between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt was signed in Tallinn.
Four Egyptian films were shown at the Black Nights Film Festival in 2004. The festival was also visited by the noted cameraman Ramses Mazrouk Tadros (also a jury member), film actor Khaled Mohamed Sami Abol Naga and critic Awatef Sadek Mikhail.
Estonian puppet film „The Table” (Art Directors: Jelena Girlin, Mari-Liis Bassovskaja) won the prize of the best animation film at the 9th Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentary and Short Films in Egypt on 10-17.09.2005.
The puppet film „Miriam Plays Hide-and Seek” (Director Priit Tender) participated at the 15th Cairo International Film Festival for Children on 3 - 10.03.2005 in Egypt.
Also in later years, several Estonian films have been presented in Cairo.
There is a relatively small Estonian community in Egypt, mainly in resort areas but also in Cairo and Alexandria. Historically, at the beginning of the 1920s, dozens of
Estonians lived in Egypt, having found themselves in Egypt following
the defeat of the armies of Denikin and Wrangel in South Russia. The
majority of the Estonians soon left Egypt, while some stayed in Egypt.
Several female Estonian missionaries, who were part of the Egyptian
General Mission established in 1898, were active in Egypt.
At the beginning of 1925, Jaan Lattik, a
clergyman and educator, and Ernst Ederberg, an architect visited Egypt.
Lattik published his travel memoirs "Towards the South" in the Estonian
daily "Päevaleht" and thereafter as a separate book.
Estonian statesman and economist prof. Nikolai Köstner, Estonian trade minister in the 1920-ies, lived in Cairo 1940-1959, working at the National Bank of Egypt. His graveyard is in the German Cemetery near the historic Coptic Quarter.