Egypt and India: Moving Towards A New Era

by Dr. ABED ELRAZEG ABU JAZER - 8 August, 2023, 12:00 552 Views 0 Comment

The visit of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to India and his participation in the celebrations of India’s Republic Day signified a quantum leap and development in relations between New Delhi and Cairo.

President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, His Excellency Mr. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, was on a State Visit to India from 24-27 January 2023 at the invitation of Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi. President Sisi, who was on his second State Visit to India was the Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day on 26 January 2023.

President of India Smt. Draupadi Murmu hosted a Banquet in honour of the visiting dignitary. Vice President of India Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar and External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar also called on the President of Egypt.

Among the many firsts of the 74th Republic Day, the contingent from the Egyptian Army was one. Led by Colonel Mahmoud Mohamed Abdel Fattah El Kharasawy, 144 soldiers of the Egyptian army marched on the Kartavya path as the parade began.

In addition to the great welcome extended to the Egyptian President and his accompanying delegation, India raised the level of relations with Cairo to strategic ones, and the two sides signed five different agreements.

“We have decided to elevate our bilateral relations with Egypt to a strategic partnership. Under the India-Egypt Strategic Partnership, we will develop a long-term framework for greater cooperation in the fields of politics, security, economics, and science,” said Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi after meeting with President El-Sisi.

PM Modi announced that the two countries have also decided to take the bilateral trade between their countries to $12 billion in the next five years.

As per the Ministry of External Affairs, the bilateral trade between India and Egypt reached USD 7.26 billion in 2021-22. The bilateral trade agreement between the two countries has been operational since March 1978.

“In this context, the joint statement, the Egyptian side considers the possibility of allocating a special area of land for the Indian industries in the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCEZ), and the Indian side can arrange for the master plan,” it said.

Suez Canal holds significant importance for Indian trade. According to a report, out of the total 4.8 million barrels per day of crude oil shipped and transported through the canal, 500,000 barrels/day of crude is shipped to India.

Developing relations between India and Egypt is an important part of Indian foreign policy priorities in developing relations with Africa.

Later in June 2023, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Cairo, Egypt. This visit further moved Egyptian-Indian relations into strategic relations, which is an important political step in the path of bilateral relations between the two countries. PM Modi was awarded the Nile Necklace which is the highest Egyptian estimate.

I strongly believe that after President Sisi’s visit to New Delhi and Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Egypt, the two countries will witness a new phase in politics and economics. It is important to note that India has also invited Egypt to be a guest country at the G20 meetings under its 2023 presidency.

Author has been working as a professional journalist in the Palestinian Territories since 1995, in a number of Arab, Gulf, Palestinian and foreign newspapers. He holds a master's degree from Al-Azhar University in Gaza in Middle Eastern Studies, Ph.D. in International Relations from Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi. He has been appointed in India as a media advisor to the Palestinian Embassy since 2014.

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