: Egypt’s Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy, who has chosen India as the destination of his first visit to Asia, had broad ranging discussions with his Indian counterpart Salman Khurshid here on Wednesday.
The two sides agreed to take forward issues of cooperation during the upcoming visit by Secretary East in the Ministry of External Affairs to Egypt before this month-end.
As the regime in Egypt prepares for a referendum in January on a new pattern of government, India is looking to take forward discussions held during ousted President Mohamed Morsy’s visit especially in the areas of defence, long term oil supply arrangements, joint ventures in refining and fertilizers and greater cooperation in science and technology.
The focus of the two-hour-long deliberations was to sustain the momentum in bilateral relations and to expand the interactions to wider areas of regional and international issues of interest, said sources in the Ministry of External Affairs.
The two Ministers also discussed specific issues related to enhancing economic cooperation, including need to ease work permit regulations for professionals. Currently, the bilateral trade was $5.4 billion. India is the third largest destination of Egyptian exports ($2.6 billion) and Egypt is the 11th largest destination of Indian exports ($2.9 billion).
Mr. Khurshid informed his Egyptian counterpart of India’s approval to establishing a Centre of Excellence in Information Technology at Al Azhar University in Cairo. The centre, which will be set up as project under the India-Africa Forum Summit, is planned for completion in a year after the confirmation of infrastructure by the host institution. Once completed, it will be able to train 500 students annually.
The two Ministers also reviewed the entire expanse of bilateral relations, the possibilities of more regular structured discussions on regional and international issues as well as security matters. They exchanged views on the Middle East Peace Process and the situation in Syria. The Egyptian Minister also outlined the developments in his country and the road map ahead. He also called on the Vice President and met the National Security Adviser.