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Jaishankar holds talks on closer India-Egypt defence and IT ties in Cairo  

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan Shoukry in Cairo on Saturday (Images courtesy: Twitter/@DrSJaishankar)

India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar at a meeting with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan Shoukry in Cairo on Saturday held discussions on strengthening ties between the two countries in defence, IT and the pharma sectors.

“A polarised world needs independent thinking and voices of reason,” Jaishankar tweeted after what he called a “warm and productive” meeting held at the foreign ministry headquarters of the Arab republic.

“Reflected our deep-rooted ties as we mark 75 years of diplomatic relations this year. Recognised our exchanges in defence and security; capacity building; economic and commercial domains, including in IT, energy, pharma & health, agriculture, infrastructure, chemical, cyber security and SMEs,” he added.

Egypt India

The two ministers also discussed many regional and international issues, including the situation in Ukraine and Egypt’s stance on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam during their meeting.

As he welcomed the EAM on his two-day visit to the country’s capital, Egyptian Foreign Minister stated that their meeting is taking place during a significant period in which the age-old relations between the two countries are witnessing a boom.

Shoukry, who is also the President-Designate of the UN Climate Change Conference 2022 (COP27) which will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh next month, said that Egypt aspires to upgrade bilateral relations at the political and economic levels.

Jaishankar, while extending support to his counterpart for COP27 Presidency, also formally invited Egypt as a ‘Guest Country’ to the G20 Summit scheduled to be held in New Delhi next year during India’s chairmanship of the grouping of the world’s largest economies in 2022-23.

He also welcomed Egyptian participation in BRICS New Development Bank and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation or the SCO.

The Egyptian government remains quite gung-ho about the investment being made by Indian companies in the field of green hydrogen production at the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZONE) in Ain Sokhna located in the Gulf of Suez, northwest of the Red Sea.

As Shoukry desired to increase the volume of trade exchange between the two countries, Jaishankar spotlighted that Egypt has been one of India’s largest trading partners in Africa and the bilateral trade has touched a record high of US$ 7.26 billion during 2021-22 Financial Year.

Indian investment in Egypt exceeds US$ 3.15 billion with over 50 Indian companies actively present in Egypt in a range of sectors like manufacturing, chemicals, energy, infrastructure, retail, etc.

Also Read: Egypt proposes joint manufacturing of military hardware with India

As reported by IndiaNarrative.com earlier, Egypt is one of the several countries which has maintained its interest in acquiring made-in-India Tejas fighter aircraft for its air force.

During his meeting with visiting Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on September 19, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi stated that his country takes pride in the close historical ties it has with India and aspires to activate the partnership “commensurate with their capabilities in all fields”.

India has emphasised Egypt’s pivotal and decisive role in combating and conquering the threat of terrorism, which casts a shadow of security and stability over the entire region.

Jaishankar on Saturday not only exchanged views on the growing defence cooperation between both countries but also spoke about India hosting the 3rd Ministerial Conference on Counter-Terrorism Financing ‘No Money for Terror’ (November 18-19, New Delhi) which will actively contribute to the process of tackling the complex tasks and multifaceted problems of combating terrorism at the regional and international levels.

Also Read: India takes yet another step to rekindle ties with regional powerhouse Egypt

Also Read: Jaishankar’s Egypt visit reflects farsightedness of India’s ‘Look West’ policy