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India-Egypt Bilateral Relations

India and Egypt, two of the world’s oldest civilizations, have enjoyed a history of close contact from ancient times. Ashoka’s edicts refer to his relations with Egypt under Ptolemy-II. In modern times, Mahatma Gandhi and Saad Zaghloul shared common goals on the independence of their countries, a relationship that was to blossom into an exceptionally close friendship between Gamal Abdel Nasser and Jawaharlal Nehru, leading to a Friendship Treaty between the two countries in 1955.

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2. India and Egypt share close political understanding based on long history of contacts and cooperation on bilateral, regional and global issues. The joint announcement of establishment of diplomatic relations at Ambassadorial level was made on 18 August 1947. Both countries have cooperated on multilateral fora and were the founding members of Non-Aligned Movement. There is a new momentum in our relations and a shared desire to take it to a higher level.

3. Since the 1980s, there have been four Prime Ministerial visits from India to Egypt: Shri Rajiv Gandhi (1985); Shri P. V. Narasimha Rao (1995); Shri I. K. Gujral (1997); and Dr. Manmohan Singh (2009, NAM Summit). From the Egyptian side, President Hosni Mubarak visited India in 1982, in 1983 (NAM Summit), and again in 2008. High level exchanges with Egypt continued after the 2011 Egyptian Revolution and then President Mohamed Morsi visited India in March 2013. External Affairs Minister (EAM) visited Cairo in March 2012 and the Egyptian Foreign Minister visited India in December 2013.

4. After the new government led by President Sisi took over in June 2014, EAM paid a visit to Cairo in August 2015. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi met President Sisi on the sidelines of UNGA, New York in September 2015. President Mukherjee and Prime Minister Modi met President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi during the Third India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi in October 2015. President Sisi paid a State visit to India in September 2016 accompanied by Mr. Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Tarek Kabil, Minister of Trade and Industry and Mr. Amr El Garhy, Minister of Finance. A Joint Statement was issued outlining the three pillars of political-security cooperation, economic engagement & scientific collaboration and cultural & people-people ties as the basis of a new partnership for a new era.

5. During 2015 to 2019, a number of Ministerial level visits from India to Egypt took place, which included - MOS (IC) for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Shri Prakash Javadekar, who participated in the 15thAfrican Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) in March 2015; Special Envoy of PM, Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi met President Sisi in July 2015; Shipping Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari, represented India at the opening of the new Suez Canal in August 2015 and met President Sisi; EAM Smt. Sushma Swaraj visited Cairo and met President Sisi, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (and also met the Secretary General of League of Arab States) in August 2015. Two MoUs on Tourism and Science and Technology cooperation were signed during the visit. Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Minister of State for Parliamentary and Minority Affairs participated in the 25thInternational Conference of Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs at Luxor, Egypt in November 2015; MoS (IC) for Sports and Youth Affairs Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore visited Egypt in Nov 2017, accompanied by a youth delegation to take part in World Youth Forum in Sharm El Sheikh and met his Egyptian counterpart; MoS for External Affairs Shri M.J. Akbar visited Egypt in October 2017 as Special Envoy of PM and met President Sisi and FM Shoukry. Minister of Defence Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman visited Egypt in September 2018 and met her Egyptian counterpart.

6. Dr. Shawki Alam, Grand Mufti of Egypt participated in the World Sufi Forum, New Delhi in March 2016. Dr. Ali Hanafi Gibaly, President of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt attended the 19th International Conference of Chief Justices in Lucknow, November 2018. Recent Ministerial visits from Egypt to India include visits of Minister of Defence Sobhi in November 2017, Minister of Public Business Sector Ashraf El-Sharkawy in November 2017, Foreign Minister Shoukry in March 2018 for India-Egypt JCM, Minister of State for Military Production, General Mohamed El Assar in April 2018 to attend DEFEXPO in Chennai and Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Eng Tarek-El Molla to attend 16th International Energy Forum in Delhi in April 2018.

7. There are several mechanisms of bilateral institutional dialogue at different levels such as Foreign Office Consultations, Joint Defence Committee (JDC), Joint Committee Meeting on S&T, Joint Trade Committee, Joint Working Groups on - i) Cyber Issues ii) Counter Terrorism iii) Agriculture, Plant Quarantine and Animal Quarantine iv) ISRO-NARSS etc.