Exclusive: India invitations Egyptian President Fattah el-Sisi for Republic Day 2023

As India boosts its political and navy ties with Cairo, New Delhi has prolonged an invite to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to be the chief visitor on the Republic Day on January 26.

The invitation to El Sisi, who has been Egypt’s president since 2014, is seen as India’s outreach to each Africa and the Arab world. Egypt, which is probably the most populous nation within the Arab world, additionally has the second largest economic system in Africa. This yr each the international locations celebrated the seventy fifth anniversary of diplomatic relations.

The crimson carpet being rolled out for President Sisi implies that Delhi-Cairo relations will likely be in focus within the coming months and years. Indian International Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar and Protection Minister Rajnath Singh each visited the nation earlier this yr. Throughout their visits, each the ministers met the Egyptian President, with Jaishankar handing him a “personal message” from PM Modi.

Protection Minister Rajnath Singh’s go to to Cairo in September was seen as a big signal as the 2 sides elevated navy engagement. Throughout the go to, he held bilateral talks together with his Egyptian counterpart Gen. Mohamed Zaki and an MoU was signed within the protection sector as either side agreed to give attention to joint coaching, protection co-production and upkeep of apparatus Of. Egypt is seeking to purchase India’s Tejas fighter plane.

The nation was additionally invited to the India-Africa Protection Dialogue and the IOR Protection Ministers’ Conclave, which occurred on the sidelines of the twelfth DefExpo in Gandhinagar, Gujarat in October. There was shut cooperation between the Indian and Egyptian air forces, with efforts to collectively develop a fighter plane within the Nineteen Sixties. IAF pilots additionally skilled Egyptian pilots from 1960 to 1984. Egypt usually offers transit amenities to IAF and Indian Navy plane to/from Russia, Europe and the US.

President Sisi paid an official go to to India in September 2016. Prime Minister Modi met Sisi on the sidelines of the third India-Africa Discussion board Summit in New Delhi in October 2015. In the identical yr, the 2 leaders additionally met on the sidelines of the United Nations Normal Meeting. in New York.

The North African nation is among the many 9 international locations invited by India for the G20 summit to be held in New Delhi in September 2023. That is the second time that the Modi authorities has invited the chief of an African nation for the Republic Day. India has been eager to reinforce ties with Africa, and subsequent yr might see an India-Africa summit, the final of which occurred in 2015.

Since 2014, when PM Modi took workplace, India has hosted US President Barack Obama (2015), French President Fran├žois Hollande (2016), UAE’s Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (2017), all ASEAN leaders (2018), South Africa Okay Cyril Ramaphosa (2019), Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro (2020).

Within the final two years — 2021, and 2022 — there was no visitor on Republic Day because of the Kovid pandemic. India was eager to ask all of the Central Asian leaders this yr, nevertheless it couldn’t occur attributable to Covid. In 2021, the then PM of Britain, Boris Johnson, was invited as a visitor, however at the moment Britain was battling the Kovid disaster. This yr’s Republic Day will likely be presided over by the brand new President of India, Draupadi Murmu.

Egypt has by no means been invited to India’s Republic Day for the reason that first Republic Day celebrations started in 1950. India has invited the utmost variety of Republic Day friends from Asian international locations (36), adopted by Europe (24), Africa (11), South Africa (6), North America (2) and Oceania (1).

Egypt has historically been certainly one of India’s most vital buying and selling companions within the African continent. Regardless of the pandemic, the commerce quantity declined marginally to US$ 4.5 billion in 2019-20 and US$ 4.15 billion in 2020-21. Amidst the Russia-Ukraine dispute, India despatched a consignment of wheat to the nation.

Earlier than the battle, Egypt imported about 80 % of its wheat provide from Russia and Ukraine. In April this yr, the Egyptian cupboard introduced the inclusion of India within the listing of acknowledged international locations that may provide wheat to Egypt, thus ending a long-pending non-tariff barrier.

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