The Philippines and Egypt established diplomatic relations in 1946. Since its opening in the 1960s until the mid-1970s, the Philippine Embassy in Cairo was the only Philippine Foreign Service Post in the Arab and African region.
The Philippines and Egypt marked a historic milestone in 2016, the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations. In that span, political relations between both countries have expanded considerably, especially in South-South cooperation and in Muslim affairs. As active members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the Philippines and Egypt have together advocated for interfaith dialogue to achieve lasting peace and development. Egypt has also been a friendly voice for the Philippines in the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), which for decades had helped broker the peace process in the southern Philippines. The two countries have concluded more than 20 bilateral agreements in various fields, dating back to their signing of a Treaty of Friendship on 18 January 1955, and have exchanged numerous high-level visits.
On the economic front, the Egypt has been among the Philippines’ most valued trading partners in Africa, with bilateral trade between the two countries reaching US$100 million in 2011. Bilateral trade between the Philippines and Egypt most recently stood at US$17.656 million on 2014. In seeking to expand economic as well as political links with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Egypt acceded to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) in 2016.
Even before the establishment of formal relations, the Philippines’ national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, had chronicled his passage through the Suez Canal on his way to Spain from the Philippines in 1882, and again on his return voyage in 1887. Socio-cultural and people-to-people relations have remained a major component of Philippines-Egypt ties in the years since. The Sentro Rizal Cairo – the first such Filipino cultural center in the Africa – opened in September 2016 with a mandate to promote Philippine culture, arts and language in Egypt. In recent years, both countries have exchanged performing troupes, and several Filipino films have been screened at film festivals in Egypt. Meanwhile, various agreements between the Philippines and Egypt pledge close cooperation on culture, education and tourism. There are some 4,500 Filipinos living and working in Egypt, and Egypt has routinely assisted in ensuring their safety, especially in times of crisis.
In the multilateral arena, the Philippines and Egypt have regularly lent mutual support for their respective candidatures to United Nations (UN) bodies. They have also often converged on issues of common concern, particularly on terrorism and religious radicalization, as well as on adherence to the rule of law and peaceful settlement of disputes.