Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi met with Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj in Cairo Monday and reiterated his intent to visit Delhi soon.
During their two-hour meeting, El-Sissi and Swaraj agreed to establish a joint anti-terrorism and security task force to deal with such rising threats as the Islamic State.
Swaraj told El-Sissi that destroying the Islamic State requires a collective global effort.
India has already formed such initiatives with other countries in the region.
Swaraj said her trip to Cairo was part of the process of preparing for the third India-Africa Summit to be held in Delhi on October 26.
Egypt is one of India’s greatest economic partner in Africa with annual trade nearing $5 billion in 2014.
According to the Cairo-based Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS), India is Egypt’s sixth-largest trading partner. Egyptian exports to India – including cotton and raw materials – reached $1.74 billion in 2014.
Some 50 Indian companies currently operate in Egypt at an investment of $3 billion dollars, and employ at least 35,000 in the local work force.
Swaraj also met with her Egyptian counterpart Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, who said he was “happy at the pace of development of bilateral ties on a number of fronts”.
The two foreign ministers also attended a ceremony for the signing of Memorandums of Understanding between the two countries in the fields of tourism and scientific exchange.
Swaraj said she was keen on boosting bilateral relations with Egypt, a historic ally and co-founder of the Non-Aligned Movement in the 1960s, particularly in the vein of data technology and pharmaceuticals.
During his meeting with Swaraj, Arab League Secretary-General Nabil El Araby called on India to remain steadfast in its committed support for the rights of the Palestinian people.
Anil Wadhwa, the Secretary (East) in the Indian Ministry of External Affairs accompanying Swaraj, told reporters that she had assured El Araby that India’s support of the Palestinians is unchanged.
“We reiterated our support to the Palestinian cause. We said that there is no change in India’s position. The President of India will be visiting Palestine, Israel and Jordan together and our basic support for the Palestinian cause will remain undiluted in the future,” Wadhwa told the media.
Swaraj is expected to fly to Germany, where she will be holding bilateral talks, on Tuesday.
El Sissi flies to Moscow on Tuesday to begin the first leg of his trip to Russia and China.
The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies