PM Modi, El-Sisi discuss trade, defense ties amid global concerns
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi met PM Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Wednesday amid the changing global dynamics following the Russia-Ukraine war and COVID-19 pandemic, ANI reported. They agreed to elevate bilateral ties in defense and trade besides tackling the issue of cross-border terrorism. El-Sisi arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday to be the chief guest at Republic Day celebrations on Thursday.
Why does this story matter?
- El-Sisi's India visit is significant in many ways since it's happening during the Russia-Ukraine crisis and global economic meltdown.
- Egypt seeks to take advantage of its visit amid India's G20 presidency.
- His visit is expected to focus on diplomatic and business interests, besides geopolitical concerns.
- Notably, Egypt will also be one of nine guest countries at the G20 Summit under India's leadership in 2023.
India, Egypt forge alliance in security, IT, and culture
Following his meeting with El-Sisi, Modi stated that India and Egypt agreed on terrorism as the leading threat to humanity, per PTI. The two leaders had reportedly agreed that tangible actions are required to put a stop to cross-border terrorism. The two sides also signed five agreements for collaboration in the fields of culture, information technology, cyber security, youth issues, and broadcasting.
Will take bilateral trade to $12bn in 5 years: Modi
According to the official statement, PM Modi also said that both sides have decided to take the bilateral trade to $12 billion in the next five years. "We have decided that under the India-Egypt strategic partnership, we will develop a long-term framework for comprehensive cooperation in political, security, economic and scientific fields," Modi said in the statement.
Tourism, defense cooperation must: El-Sisi
El-Sisi stated that talks were held to strengthen the bilateral connection. Additionally, Egypt would want to see an increase in the number of Indian visitors, he added. "We discussed regional and global issues of mutual interests. We also deliberate on bilateral defense cooperation," he said while endorsing Modi's views on terrorism. El-Sisi said united efforts are a must to deal with terrorism.
Tradition of inviting top foreign guests by India
For Republic Day, India has a long tradition of welcoming notable foreign dignitaries. In 2018, the entire ASEAN leadership, comprising 10 heads of state, attended the event. The chief guest in 2020 was Jair Bolsonaro, the then-Brazilian President. Former US President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and former French Presidents Nicholas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande also attended the event as chief guests.
No foreign chief guest on R-Day for two years
Leaders of friendly nations have graced India's Republic Day celebrations since 1950. Former Indonesian President Sukarno was the first to be invited as the chief guest. In 2021 and 2022, India's main Republic Day event had no foreign chief guest due to COVID-19. In 1952, 1953, and 1966, too, the R-Day celebrations were held without a foreign leader as chief guest.