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India-Egypt Agree to Strengthen Ties
Sep 06, 2016

In a bid to deal with the twin challenges of terrorism and radicalisation, India and Egypt agreed to strengthen defence and security cooperation after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met here for bilateral talks.

Before leaving for China via Vietnam, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held crucial talks with visiting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

President al-Sisi arrived for a three-day visit at the invitation of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, discussed various important bilateral, regional and global issues with the Indian premier.

Both leaders also signalled a major shift in bilateral ties by signing a pact to promote sea commerce.

Key Pacts & Issues

  • India & Egypt decided to bolster maritime trade ties, apart from strengthening bilateral defence and anti-terror co-operation.
  • India and Egypt joined hands to combat terror, as both the countries were facing the threat of extremism and radicalism.
  • In the presence of the two leaders, senior Indian and Egyptian officials signed a pact that would facilitate maritime commerce and transit of naval vessels.
  • Both countries agreed to prepare a roadmap in order to intensify bilateral trade and investment.
  • Both leaders are of one view that growing radicalisation, increasing violence and spread of terror pose a real threat not just to our two countries, but also to nations and communities across regions. In this context, we agreed to further our defence and security engagement which would aim at expanding defence trade, training and capacity building.
  • Egyptian president urged India to invest in different sectors, like petro-chemicals, energy and agriculture, and take part in the ‘Suez Canal Economic Zone’ project. He invited Indian business leaders to invest more in his country and become a development partner of Egypt.
  • Identifying terrorism as one of the ‘gravest threats’, the two countries decided to have greater information and operational exchanges to combat the menace.
  • The two leaders welcomed the recent exchanges on security cooperation and counter-terrorism at the level of National Security Advisers and the signing of a MoU for cooperation between the two National Security Councils.
  • India has always considered Egypt as a ‘friendly nation’ that can help the former to counter China’s growing influence in the Indian Ocean Region. The Indian administration is well aware of the fact that Egypt’s geographical location will help India maintain close ties with various African countries. Egypt is a strategically located country that is a crucial link between northeast Africa and West Asia. By using the Suez Canal, India can also boost its trade ties with African countries and it will ultimately help the South Asian nation ensure a steady economic growth.
  • Both countries strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. They considered terrorism to be one of the gravest threats to international peace and security. They reaffirmed their resolve to strengthen cooperation in combating terrorism at all levels. They also reaffirmed their resolve to work together at UN on concluding the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
  • The two countries also decided to expand trade and commercial ties, holding that there are huge opportunities to exploit untapped economic opportunities in the two countries.

The Prime Minister said the two countries agreed on an ‘action-oriented agenda’ to drive the engagements in a range of sectors apart from deciding to expand defence trade, training and capacity building.

Egyptian President said that his government will work towards a robust security cooperation with India besides laying out a roadmap for intensification of bilateral trade and investment cooperation. He said a large number of issues ranging from tackling terror, expanding trade ties to dealing with challenge of climate change were deliberated upon.

The two leaders expressed their satisfaction that defence cooperation is taking place through regular exchanges and welcomed deepening and expansion of defence relations through high-level visits, training, exercises, transit facilities, and hardware cooperation.

Economic Ties: India and Egypt decided to take their economic and trade ties to the next level. Both countries have set a bilateral trade target of $8 billion in the near future from the current $3 billion.

  • There are currently 52 Indian companies operating in Egypt of which 25 are joint ventures with a total investment of $3 billion across a wide range of sectors.
  • As a $286-billion economy with around 89 million consumers, which is the second largest in Africa, Egypt has tremendous potential as an economic partner.
  • The two leaders also agreed to collaborate in the field of information and communications technology, agriculture, biotechnology, renewable and non-conventional energy and skills development and urged the private sector to invest heavily in these sectors.
  • To diversify the portfolio of economic engagement, both countries will also deepen cooperation in agriculture, skill development, small and medium industry and health sectors.


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