India, Egypt deepen security ties, to focus on IS threat

sushma-with-al-sisi

Amid seething turmoil in the region and the rise of emerging threats, India and Egypt have decided to deepen and diversify their security and counter-terror cooperation.  

With the rise of terror groups like ISIS who are spread across the most volatile region in the world, India suggested that the ISIS should be fought in a “determined and collective manner”.

In Cairo, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met Egypt’s President Fattah Al-Sisi and her Egyptian counterpart Sameh Hassan Shourky. This is Swaraj’s first visit to Egypt, signaling the Indian government’s focus on revitalizing multifarious relations with Cairo as well as the North Africa region.

President Sisi conveyed his resolve to deepen ties with India and underlined that it was time to encash on the goodwill that the people of the two countries have with each other into something concrete on the ground. “He (President Sisi) said Egypt and India should be working together visibly on issues of common interests to show to the world that we are together on certain issues.” Anil Wadhwa, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, said in Cairo.

The talks encompassed key areas in the burgeoning relationship, including economic, security and cultural. “We discussed the three pillars of cooperation which are political and security pillar, economic and investments and people-to-people contact. We have decided to deepen cooperation in all the areas.”

Building on the August 24 talks, India and Egypt will hold a joint commission meeting in January at the level of Foreign Ministers which will be preceded by foreign office consultations in November.

Both sides also discussed the Palestine issue and the situation in the region. They also reiterated support each other at the United Nations as well.

Economically, things are set to move faster in days to come. Bilateral trade between India and Egypt is USD 4.76 billion (as of 2014-2015), with India’s exports to Egypt at USD 3.02 billion and imports from Egypt at USD 1.74 billion. Indian business have invested around USD 3 billion in Egypt in about 50 companies.

The minister’s visit saw the signing of pacts on enhancing tourism and expanding scientific and technical Cooperation.

The minister’s visit has set an ambitious agenda for bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Sisi on the sidelines of the India-Africa Forum Summit in October this year

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