India, Egypt strengthen ties with Strategic Partnership Pact

El-Sisi also conferred the ‘Order of the Nile’ honour on Modi, the 13th highest state honour to be awarded to the Prime Minister.

Cairo: Imparting new momentum, India and Egypt on Sunday elevated their relationship to a ‘Strategic Partnership’ after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi held wide-ranging talks with a particular focus on enhancing political and security cooperation.

Modi, who made a state visit to Egypt at the invitation of the President, held a private one-on-one conversation with El-Sisi during which they reviewed important developments in the region and the world. This was the first bilateral visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Egypt in 26 years.

Modi and El-Sisi inked the strategic partnership document after their wide-ranging talks encompassing further enhancing political and security cooperation, defence collaboration, trade and investment ties, scientific and academic exchanges and strengthening people-to-people contacts.

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“Besides the agreement on strategic partnership, the two countries also signed three more pacts on — agriculture and allied sectors; protection and preservation of monuments and archaeological sites; and competition law,” Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra told reporters here.

El-Sisi also conferred the ‘Order of the Nile’ honour on Modi, the 13th highest state honour to be awarded to the Prime Minister.

“It is with great humility that I accept the ‘Order of the Nile.’ I thank the Government and people of Egypt for this honour. It indicates the warmth and affection they have towards India and the people of our nation,” Modi said in a tweet.

Modi and El-Sisi also discussed further cooperation in G-20, highlighting the issues of food and energy insecurity, climate change and the need for the Global South to have a concerted voice.

The Prime Minister also extended an invitation to El-Sisi to attend the G-20 Summit in New Delhi in September.

“My visit to Egypt was a historic one. It will add renewed vigour to India-Egypt relations and will benefit the people of our nations. I thank President El-Sisi, the Government and the people of Egypt for their affection,” Modi said on Twitter as he departed for India Sunday evening.

Modi also visited the historic 11th-century Al-Hakim Mosque, which was recently renovated with the help of the Dawoodi Bohra community, which has strong links with India, particularly the prime minister’s home state of Gujarat.

The Prime Minister also visited the Heliopolis Commonwealth War Cemetery where he paid homage to the Indian soldiers who laid down their lives in Egypt during the First World War.

“A tribute to India’s brave soldiers, whose courage will never be forgotten. At the Heliopolis War Memorial, I paid homage to our brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the First World War in Egypt,” Modi said on Twitter.

Modi and his Egyptian counterpart Mostafa Madbouly also toured the iconic pyramids of Giza on the outskirts of Cairo.

“I thank PM Mostafa Madbouly for accompanying me to the Pyramids. We had a rich discussion on the cultural histories of our nations and how to deepen these linkages in the times to come,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister arrived here on Saturday afternoon to a ceremonial welcome at the airport, where he also inspected the guard of honour. Madbouly welcomed him with a warm embrace.

Later, Modi held a meeting with the Madbouly-led India Unit, a special group of high-level ministers set up by El-Sisi to further improve the relationship with India.

On Saturday, the Prime Minister met with the Grand Mufti of Egypt Shawky Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam, and discussed issues related to promoting social harmony and countering extremism and radicalisation.

Modi met members of the Indian community in Egypt who showered fulsome praise on him, hailing him as ‘India’s hero’.

The Prime Minister also met prominent personalities in Egypt, including Hassan Allam, CEO of one of the largest Egyptian companies operating in the Middle East and North African region, and Tarek Heggy, a renowned author and petroleum strategist.

Prime Minister Modi also held a warm conversation with two young prominent Yoga instructors, Reem Jabak and Nada Adel. He praised them for their commitment to Yoga and encouraged them to visit India.

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