India, Egypt to elevate relations to strategic partnership, take bilateral trade to $12 bn
New Delhi, Jan 25 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that India and Egypt have decided to elevate their bilateral relations to the level of a "strategic partnership".
He further said that both the nations have decided to take bilateral trade to $12 billion in the next five years.
In his remarks after discussions with visiting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Modi said, "At one side of the Arabian Sea is India and on the other side is Egypt. Strategic cooperation between the two countries will help in promoting peace and prosperity in the entire region. So in today's meeting, President Sisi and I decided to elevate our bilateral partnership to the level of 'Strategic Partnership'. We have decided that under the India-Egypt Strategic Partnership, we will develop a long-term framework of greater cooperation in political, security, economic and scientific fields."
He said that both he and President Sisi closely observed the adverse effects on healthcare infrastructure and global supply chains during the Covid pandemic.
"President Sisi and I have remained in close contact during this challenging period, and both countries have sent each other immediate assistance in times of need. Today, we have held extensive discussions on strengthening the food and pharma supply chains affected by Covid and the Ukraine conflict. We also agreed on the need to increase mutual investment and trade in these areas," Modi said.
He also said that India and Egypt are worried about the spread of terrorism happening around the world.
"We are unanimous in the opinion that terrorism is the most serious security threat to humanity. Both countries also agree that concerted action is necessary to end cross-border terrorism. And for this, together we will continue to try to alert the international community," the Prime Minister said.
Modi further elaborated that "there is also immense potential for enhancing security and defence cooperation between us".
"In the last few years, there has been a significant increase in joint exercise training and capacity building between our armies. We have also decided in today's meeting to further strengthen cooperation between our defence industries, and enhance the exchange of information and intelligence related to counter-terrorism," he said.
Modi said that during his meeting with the Egyptian President, the issue of misuse of cyber space to spread extremist ideologies and radicalisation was discussed, and therefore it was decided that both the countries would extend cooperation against this also.
Sisi, who arrived on Tuesday on a three-day official visit to India, would be the chief guest during the Republic Day function on Thursday.