"India-Egypt ties go back over 4000 years": Indian Ambassador to Egypt amid PM Modi's State visit

World Sunday 25/June/2023 09:24 AM
"India-Egypt ties go back over 4000 years": Indian Ambassador to Egypt amid PM Modi's State visit

Cairo : As Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived for his first State visit to Egypt, Ajit Gupte, the Indian ambassador to the African country, said the ties between the two countries go back over 4,000 years.

He expressed hope that PM Modi's ongoing visit would yield "very concrete outcomes". PM Modi, who was received by Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly on his arrival at Cairo and was accorded a ceremonial welcome, became the first Prime Minister to visit the country since 1997.

Speaking to ANI, Gupte said, "India and Egypt are two of the greatest ancient civilisations in the world and our ties go back more than 4000 years. Actually, emperor Ashoka referred to Egyptian king Ptolme II in the 3rd century BC. In recent years, the relationship has gone from shrinks to shrinks, particularly after Prime Minister Modi and President Sisi came to power."

He said the people of Egypt were very familiar with the Indian culture and want to build ties with India.

"Everyone in Egypt is familiar with the Indian culture. They have been watching Bollywood movies for decades. They know that India and Egypt came together to form the Non-Aligned Movement. Their people closely associate with our values and want to be close to India," he said.

The Ambassador affirmed that the visit will result in concrete outcomes.

"On June 24, we are having a round-table for the first time between our honourable PM and the Egyptian PM. After President Sisi's very successful visit to India in 2023, both countries agreed to elevate their relationship to a strategic partnership. Upon his return, President Sisi also constituted an 'India committee', which was tasked to improve ties with our country. I am sure this meeting will also result in concrete outcomes. On June 25, the Prime Minister will pay a visit to the historic Al-Hakim mosque. After that, he will visit Heliopolis War Memorial," Ambassador Gupte added.

PM Modi is visiting Egypt at the invitation of the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, which he extended in January 2023 when he graced India's Republic Day celebrations as the 'Chief Guest.'

The Prime Minister will have various engagements with the leaders and Indian diaspora during his visit here. He is set to hold a roundtable meeting with the Egyptian PM Mostafa Madbouly and also meet Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

Gupte on Friday said a round table meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Egyptian Prime Minister will take place for the first time.

The visit is of significance as Egypt has traditionally been one of India's most important trading partners in the African continent. India-Egypt Bilateral Trade Agreement has been in operation since March 1978 and is based on the Most Favored Nation clause, according to the Egyptian Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS).

India was Egypt's fifth-largest trading partner between April 2022 and December 2022. It was the 11th-largest importer of Egyptian goods and the 5th-largest exporter to Egypt during the same time.

India and Egypt also share a close political understanding based on a long history of contact and cooperation in bilateral, regional and global issues. The joint announcement of the establishment of diplomatic relations at the Ambassadorial level was made on August 18, 1947.

Since the 1980s, there have been four Prime Ministerial visits from India to Egypt.

Rajiv Gandhi visited the country in 1985, PV Narasimha Rao in 1995, IK Gujral in 1997, and Manmohan Singh in 2009.

From the Egyptian side, President Hosni Mubarak visited India in 1982, 1983 (NAM Summit), and again in 2008.

High-level exchanges with Egypt continued after the Arab Spring uprising in 2011 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.

On April 14, 2022, Egyptian Cabinet announced the inclusion of India in the list of accredited countries which can supply wheat to Egypt, thus ending a long pending Non-Tariff Barrier.