The Egyptian President, Mohamed Morsy, who started his India visit on Monday, acknowledged that he foresaw China playing an important role in the development of heavy industry in Egypt, while India fitted prominently into Cairo’s plans to develop Information Technology (IT), small and medium enterprises as well as a national defence industry.

The President said Egypt wanted to establish a “unique relationship” with India in the area of defence as “in military industry also, India is quite advanced”. He identified military navigation, electronics and maintenance as some priority areas of interest.

The Egyptian President, who has ideological roots in the Muslim Brotherhood, rejected the notion of the existence of a sectarian Sunni-Shia conflict in West Asia. He said Egypt was ideally positioned to play a major diplomatic role in defusing tensions in the region, as Cairo enjoyed cordial relations with the Gulf countries as well as Iran. Mr. Morsy added that “as a pioneer of the moderation in Islam,” Al Azhar University, which “has an outreach [in] many countries,” was a key institution capable of playing a significant conciliatory role among adversarial parties.

More In: National | News