PM Modi and Egyptian Counterpart Discuss Security Cooperation, Trade, and Investment
ndian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Egyptian counterpart, Mostafa Madbouly, engaged in discussions on security cooperation, trade, and investment during Modi's visit to Cairo. This visit marks the first time an Indian premier has visited Egypt since 1997 and comes after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi attended India's Republic Day celebrations in January as the chief guest. The purpose of the visit is to strengthen bilateral ties and establish a strategic partnership between the two nations.
Modi's visit to Cairo aims to expand India's partnerships in the crucial West Asian region, with a focus on utilizing Egypt as a gateway for Indian businesses to access markets in the Arab world and Africa. The Indian leader was warmly received by Madbouly at Cairo airport, where he received a ceremonial welcome. In a tweet, Modi expressed gratitude for the warm welcome and expressed his confidence that the visit would strengthen the ties between India and Egypt. He also looked forward to further discussions with President Sisi.
During the visit, Modi and his delegation, which included External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, participated in a roundtable meeting with Madbouly and the "India Unit," a group of senior ministers appointed by President Sisi to enhance relations with India. The meeting covered various areas of cooperation, including defense, trade, and people-to-people exchanges.
Egypt expressed its desire to enhance cooperation with India in several sectors, such as communications and IT, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, solar energy, green hydrogen, and digital transformation. In addition to the strategic partnership agreement, both countries are expected to sign several other agreements related to IT, agriculture, small and medium-sized enterprises, trade promotion, and culture.
Modi's schedule also included a meeting with the Grand Mufti of Egypt, Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam, as well as interactions with the Indian community and Egyptian thought leaders.
Bilateral military cooperation has seen an increase, with joint military exercises and exchanges taking place. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) of India has proposed establishing a manufacturing line in Egypt for the production of Tejas fighter jets, as Egypt plans to acquire new combat aircraft. Egypt has also offered a dedicated slot for India at the Suez Canal Economic Zone, where China and Russia have already established a presence. To attract Indian businesses, a delegation from the Suez Canal Economic Zone visited India prior to Modi's visit.
According to official figures, the bilateral trade between India and Egypt amounted to $6 billion in 2022, with Egyptian exports worth $1.9 billion and Indian imports totaling $4.1 billion.
In addition to his discussions with Madbouly, Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to meet with President Sisi. He will also visit the Al-Hakim Mosque, which was renovated by the Bohra community, and pay tribute to Indian soldiers who lost their lives in World War I at the Heliopolis War Cemetery. Modi's visit to Egypt will conclude on Sunday, and he will return to India afterward.