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Egypt, Kuwait in talks on financing development projects in Sinai

The Sinai Peninsula is seen in this image from video shot from onboard the Space Shuttle Columbia on 26 January 2003. [NASA-TV/Getty Images]

Egyptian international cooperation minister, Rania Al-Mashat, is in talks with the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) to finance the second phase of development projects in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, local media reported yesterday.

Al-Mashat, who is currently visiting Kuwait, told reporters that the projects' total construction costs were amounting to $1.1 billion.

The minister praised what she described as "KFAED's significant role in supporting the development efforts in Egypt."

The Projects, she pointed out, were including the construction of five seawater desalination plants in the south of Sinai and another one in Egypt's province of Port-Said, a drinking water station in Sinai's northern city of Arish, a seawater drainage station, and transit and tunnel roads in the Red Sea province of Sharm El-Sheikh.

Mohammed Sadeqi, a KFAED representative, said on his part that his organisation's partnership with the Egyptian government was "very deep," adding Kuwait was keen on "supporting the Egyptian economy and implementing the Sinai developmental projects in the transportation, water, agriculture and industrial sectors."

Read: Kuwait parliament calls for cancelling flights to Egypt

In September, the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi approved a project loan to construct a KFAED-funded four seawater desalination plants in South Sinai at a total cost of 15 million Kuwaiti dinars ($49.3 million).

Egypt has been negotiating billions of dollars in aid from various lenders to help revive an economy battered by political upheaval since the 2011 revolution and to ease a dollar shortage that has crippled import activity and hampered recovery.

In November 2015, Egypt won a three-year $12 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan, which aimed at reviving the country's struggling economy, bringing down public debt and controlling inflation while seeking to protect the poor.

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