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Egypt for ‘robust defence, security cooperation’ with India

Calling for joint efforts to counter “sizable challenge” of extremism and terrorism, Egypt and India will build a “robust defence and security cooperation.” Announcing “upgradation” in bilateral ties, visiting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said that he has issued instructions for his government to work on multiple fronts to energise Cairo’s ties with Delhi even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an agreement on maritime transport between two sides.

“Despite relentless change of the global order our joint effort to find solution for various international issues remains on track. We will work together to counter extremism and terrorism through a robust military and security cooperation and will work on evacuation of people from areas hit by natural disasters or conflicts,” Mr. el-Sisi said during a joint press conference with Mr. Modi, at the end of his visit to India.

Mr. el-Sisi who is visiting Delhi with a large business and government delegation said that India and Egypt will upgrade economic and trade ties, increase mutual visits, intensify counter terror cooperation, and work on renewable energy. The highlight of the visit of Mr. el-Sisi was an agreement on maritime transport which was described by Mr. Modi as an “important enabler” for increased trade and commerce.

Calling for “greater operational exchanges” to combat terrorism and money laundering , Mr. Modi said, “We agreed to further our defence and security engagement aimed at expanding defence trade, training and capacity building, greater information and operational exchanges to combat terrorism and cooperation on emerging challenges of cyber security”.

Mr. Modi announced both sides will intensify cultural exchanges and appreciated Egypt for its work as a non-permanent member in the UNSC. “UN Security Council needs to be reformed to reflect the reality of today,” he said and welcomed Egypt’s participation as a special invitee at the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China.

Friday’s declaration of a “robust defence and security partnership” is likely to further energise the Joint Defence Cooperation which was set up in 2006 and has held six meetings so far. In an interview to The Hindu before the beginning of the visit, Mr. el-Sisi had remarked that terrorism and conflicts in Syria, Libya and Iraq have destabilised West Asia and North Africa region and sought international cooperation to find solution to disturbances that spread to the rest of world.

Mr. el-Sisi’s latest visit to Delhi was part of his second personal engagement with India. His first visit to India was to participate in the India-Africa Forum Summit of October 2015 when the government had invited him for a bilateral visit. Mr. el-Sisi’s two visits, have been interpreted by experts as a sign of Egypt’s interest to re-invent its friendly ties with India which stretch back to the days of non-alignment and bonhomie between Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 11:00:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/Egypt-for-%E2%80%98robust-defence-security-cooperation%E2%80%99-with-India/article14620209.ece

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