By Dr. Prasanta Kumar Pradhan
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s go to to Egypt on 24–25 June 2023 has important implications for the bilateral relationship between the 2 nations. In the course of the go to, each nations signed three MoUs on Agriculture, Archaeology & Antiquities and Competitors Legislation. Moreover, India and Egypt additionally signed a ‘Strategic Partnership’.1
It should be famous right here that each nations had agreed to forge a strategic partnership between them in January 2023, when President Abdel Fattah El Sisi visited India and took part in Republic Day celebrations because the Chief Visitor.2 In Cairo, Modi and Sisi mentioned a spread of bilateral points together with the economic system, vitality, defence and safety ties. Moreover, President Sisi bestowed upon Prime Minister Modi the celebrated ‘Order of the Nile’, the very best civilian award in Egypt.
The India–Egypt relationship has skilled important enchancment because the assumption of energy by Prime Minister Modi and President Sisi in 2014. Each the leaders intend to additional strengthen ties and revive the heat between the 2 nations that characterised their relationship up to now. President Sisi has made three visits to India throughout his tenure, demonstrating his dedication to strengthening bilateral relations. He participated within the India–Africa Discussion board Summit in Delhi in 2015, undertook a State go to to India in 2016 and most just lately in January 2023.
Recognising Egypt as a vital political and navy energy in its prolonged neighbourhood, India locations nice significance on its relationship with Egypt. Geopolitically, Egypt actively engages in Arab politics and holds a novel benefit as a consequence of its strategic location connecting the Purple Sea, the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea.
There’s a variety of scope for additional growth of the bilateral commerce between the 2 nations. At current, the bilateral commerce between India and Egypt stands at US$ 6.95 billion3 which is beneath the potential protecting in view that each the nations are fast-growing economies. New areas of engagement resembling renewable vitality, meals safety and cooperation within the well being sector will additional strengthen bilateral commerce and commerce. Each intend to double the bilateral whole commerce to US$ 12 billion by 2028.
The Suez Canal is named the financial lifeline of Egypt. India intends to enhance commerce and funding with Egypt utilizing the Suez Canal Financial Zone (SCZONE). This challenge was mentioned in January 2023 throughout Sisi’s go to to India. The SCZONE has the potential to function a strategic hub for India to entry markets in Africa and Europe. Not too long ago, the SCZONE authorities have introduced their readiness to supply “a devoted cluster within the industrial and logistics hub” to India.
This collaborative initiative will facilitate elevated funding from India into Egypt whereas concurrently benefitting India by providing enhanced entry to key markets.
India–Egypt cooperation within the area of defence and safety has obtained a particular focus beneath the management of Modi and Sisi. India is eager to strengthen its defence and safety company with Egypt. Lately, there was an accelerated military-to-military engagement between the 2 nations. Indian naval ships have made common visits and port calls to Egypt. Navies of each nations have engaged in joint workouts, coaching and port calls. India and Egypt performed their first-ever air train ‘Desert Warrior’ in Egypt.
In July 2022, Indian Air Pressure participated within the Tactical Management Programme of the Egyptian Air Pressure Weapons College. Equally, in January 2023, Indian Military and the Egyptian Military performed their first-ever joint train in Rajasthan, ‘Train Cyclone-I’, meant to alternate experience on a number of points together with counter-terrorism.5 Because the militaries of each nations have substantial expertise in combating terrorism of their respective nations, becoming a member of arms collectively and fascinating with one another in sharing their technique and abilities in preventing terror will probably be helpful for each.
The deepening political engagement has offered the belief to each nations to plan joint defence manufacturing and co-production. However there stay important challenges on this regard in future as it could require enormous funding, sharing expertise and the political will and belief in one another. Moreover, Egypt has additionally expressed curiosity in shopping for Tejas fighter jets and Akash missiles from India.
Like India, Egypt additionally faces enormous challenges posed by terrorism. A variety of terrorist teams have been working from the Sinai Peninsula spreading their actions and networks. Terrorist teams such the ISIS, Al Qaeda and different native militant and jihadi organisations additionally function on this area. This has emerged as a significant safety problem for the Egyptian authorities. A few of these teams have established networks all through completely different nations within the West Asia and North African area. ISIS, particularly, has been extremely lively and has launched a number of lethal terrorist assaults within the nation usually concentrating on the safety forces and minority communities. The Sisi authorities has been notably severe about forging counter-terror cooperation with India. Each Sisi and Modi have recognized terrorism because the ‘gravest risk’ and agreed to cooperate in all attainable methods.
India and Egypt are essential nations within the International South and there’s a convergence of curiosity between each the nations on the problems and challenges dealing with the worldwide south. Amongst different nations, India has invited Egypt as a visitor nation throughout India’s G20 presidency this yr. There’s additionally a convergence of curiosity between the 2 nations on the important thing problems with G20 engagement resembling sustainable improvement, local weather change, vitality safety, meals safety and so forth. Egypt has expressed its help to India to work collectively on G20 points and each imagine that the problems of the International South needs to be accorded due precedence in G20. Ministers from Egypt have participated in a number of conferences held in India beneath its G20 presidency.
Modi’s go to to Cairo primarily centered on three core areas of economic system, defence and safety points. Deepening engagement within the financial sphere and, on the similar time, strengthening defence and safety cooperation, with a selected emphasis on counter-terrorism, are the central pillars of the India–Egypt engagement right now. The choice to raise the bilateral ties to a strategic stage, as evidenced by the go to of President Sisi to India in January and the following signing of a strategic partnership settlement throughout Modi’s go to, underscores the mutual dedication to foster a strong and enduring strategic partnership.
Views expressed are of the writer and don’t essentially replicate the views of the Manohar Parrikar IDSA or of the Authorities of India.
Concerning the writer: Dr Prasanta Kumar Pradhan is Analysis Fellow on the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Research and Analyses, New Delhi
Supply: This text was revealed by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Research and Analyses
- 1.“Prime Minister’s Assembly with President of Egypt”, Ministry of Exterior Affairs, Authorities of India, 25 June 2023.
- 2.“India-Egypt Joint Assertion in the course of the State Go to of the President of Egypt to India”, Ministry of Exterior Affairs, Authorities of India, 26 January 2023.
- 3.Division of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Business, Authorities of India.
- 4.“Egypt to Provide Unique Industrial Cluster to India in Suez Canal EZ”, Enterprise Customary, 23 June 2023.
- 5.“Inaugural Version of Indo-Egypt Joint Coaching Train Cyclone – I Commences in Rajasthan”, Press Data Bureau, Ministry of Defence, Authorities of India, 20 January 2023.