President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, His Excellency Mr. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, is on a State Visit to India from 24-27 January 2023 at the invitation of Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi. President Sisi, who is on his second State Visit to India, is the Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day on 26 January 2023, reflecting the importance attached by India to the relationship with Egypt. President Sisi is accompanied by a high-level delegation, including the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Electricity and Renewable Energy, Planning and Economic Development and Communications and Information Technology, as well as senior officials of the Egyptian government.
2. President Sisi was accorded a ceremonial welcome on 25 January 2023 at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi. President Sisi also paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat. President of India Smt. Droupadi Murmu hosted a Banquet in honour of the visiting dignitary. Vice President of India Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar and External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar called on the President of Egypt.
3. President Sisi and Prime Minister Modi held restricted and delegation-level talks in a warm and friendly atmosphere and exchanged views on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. They appreciated the excellent cooperation between the two sides at bilateral levels and in multilateral forums. Both leaders acknowledged the fact that the visit of President Sisi is taking place at a significant time, as the two countries celebrate the 75th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations.
4. The two leaders recalled their earlier meetings in New York (September 2015), in New Delhi (October 2015 and September 2016) and on the margins of the 9th BRICS Summit in Xiamen (September 2017). They also noted recent visits by Defence Minister of India Shri Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar and Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change Shri Bhupender Yadav to Egypt, as well as the visit of Egypt’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology Dr. Amr Talaat to India.
5. Keeping in view the development of relations between the two countries, and the potential for their future growth, the two leaders decided to upgrade their relations to the level of ‘Strategic Partnership’ covering political, security, defence, energy and economic areas. By doing so, the two sides seek to maximize the common interests and exchange support in a bid to overcome the difficulties caused by various consecutive crises and challenges the world is facing. The two leaders reviewed the status of the bilateral relationship based on the pillars of closer political and security cooperation, deeper economic engagement, stronger scientific and academic collaboration, as well as wider cultural and people-to-people contacts.
6. Appreciating the friendly gesture of India’s invitation to Egypt as a ‘Guest Country’ for the G20 forum, President Sisi expressed confidence that under India’s Presidency, the grouping will be successful in achieving its goals. Both the leaders agreed to work together closely during India’s Presidency and reiterated that the interests and priorities of the Global South be given due attention and focus in key global forums including G20.
7. President Sisi attended a business event where he delivered a keynote address and invited the Indian business community to explore new and emerging business opportunities in Egypt. He sought Indian investments in Egypt, particularly in sectors such as infrastructure, petrochemicals, energy, agriculture, healthcare, education, skills development and IT.
8. The two countries reaffirmed their commitment to multilateralism, the principles of the United Nations Charter, international law, the founding values of the Non-Aligned Movement, and respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states. The two sides take into consideration the cultural and social sensitivities of all states and, in this regard, they agreed to work together to promote and safeguard these basic principles through regular consultations and coordination at bilateral and multilateral levels.
Economic Cooperation, Trade and Investment
9. The two leaders appreciated the strong bilateral economic engagement and expressed satisfaction at the current level of bilateral trade at a record high of US$ 7.26 billion in 2021-22, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. They expressed confidence that a bilateral trade target of US$ 12 billion could be achieved within the next five years by both countries, by diversifying the trade basket and focusing on value addition.
10. Both leaders welcomed the expansion of Indian investments in Egypt, which is currently more than US$ 3.15 billion. They agreed to encourage businesses from their respective countries to explore emerging economic and investment opportunities in each other’s countries. Egypt welcomes the flow of more Indian investments and promises to offer incentives and facilities as per applicable regulations and frameworks. On its part, India underlines its support for this approach by encouraging its companies, which have the potentials to establish overseas investments, to make use of the available investment opportunities in Egypt. In this context, the Egyptian side considers the possibility of allocating a special area of land for the Indian industries in the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCEZ), and the Indian side can arrange for the master plan.
11. Both sides agreed on enhancing bilateral cooperation in the fields of capacity building and sharing of experience in the developmental fields in view of the success of the Egyptian experience in developing rural areas under the project ‘Decent Life’ as well as India’s experience in usage of technology in fighting poverty.
12. While adhering to the commercial regulations and standards applicable in each others’ State as well as the principles of competitiveness and transparency, the two sides emphasized their determination to cooperate in the trade of commodities of strategic nature and of those required for food security in a manner that can help both sides to contain the repercussions of the global food crisis.
13. The two leaders welcomed the convening of the 1st Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting on Trade and Investment, held virtually on 03 March 2021. They took note of the progress made by the 5th bilateral ‘Joint Trade Committee’ (JTC) meeting held in Cairo on 25 July 2022 in which a detailed overview of bilateral trade and resolution of non-tariff barriers, as well as strengthening cooperation in the field of investments were discussed.
14. Both leaders look forward to deepening cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied services. They noted the importance of strengthening the supply chain of food articles and welcomed the convening of the first meeting of the newly constituted ‘JWG on Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries’ on 25 October 2022.
15. The two leaders reiterated the importance of defence cooperation in enhancing the bilateral partnership. They resolved to focus on deepening cooperation between the defence industries of the two countries and explore new initiatives to intensify military-to-military engagements. They appreciated the progress made in implementing the outcomes of the 9th ‘Joint Defence Committee’ (JDC) meeting held in Cairo in November 2019 and look forward to an early convening of the 10th JDC in India. They expressed satisfaction at the accelerated interaction between their Armed Forces through exchanges in training, joint exercises, transits and high-level bilateral visits. They noted that the participation of the Indian Air Force in the first ever ‘Joint Tactical Air Exercise’ in Egypt in October 2021 and in the ‘Tactical Leadership Programme’ of the Egyptian Air Force in June 2022 has led to a better understanding between the two Air-Forces. They looked forward to more such engagements for mutual benefit.
16. The two leaders welcomed the signing of the MoU for cooperation in the field of defence during the visit of India’s Minister of Defence Shri Rajnath Singh to Egypt in September 2022. They appreciated that bilateral military-to-military cooperation has reached a new level. They agreed to further enhance and deepen defence cooperation in all fields, especially by exchanging technology between defence industries, widening the footprint of military exercises, and exchanging best practices. They emphasized the need for co-production in the defence sector and to discuss specific proposals in the framework of the JDC.
Combating Extremism and Countering Terrorism
17. Prime Minister Modi and President Sisi expressed concern over the spread of terrorism across the world and agreed that it poses one of the most serious security threats to humanity. Both leaders condemned the use of terrorism as a foreign policy tool. They called for 'zero tolerance' for terrorism and for all those who encourage, support and finance terrorism or provide sanctuaries to terrorist and terror groups- whatever their motivation may be. They emphasized the need for concerted and coordinated action by the international community, with the objective of eradicating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations including cross-border terrorism. They reiterated their condemnation of efforts, including by States, to use religion to justify, support and sponsor terrorism against other countries. They also called upon all countries to work towards rooting out terrorist networks and their safe havens, infrastructure, their financing channels and preventing cross-border movements of terrorists.
18. Both leaders reiterated their common resolve in promoting the values of peace, tolerance and inclusiveness and making concerted efforts to fight terrorism and violent extremist ideologies. They emphasized the need for a holistic approach to counter terrorism and violent extremism, which includes inter alia disrupting the use of the internet and social media and preventing the use of religious centres to radicalize youth and recruit terrorist cadres. They agreed on the need to hold the JWG on Counter-Terrorism on regular basis to exchange information and best practices. The two sides agreed on enhancing interaction between their respective National Security Councils.
Space Cooperation and Cyber Security
19. The two leaders agreed to expand cooperation in the field of space by utilizing India's expertise in building and launching satellites and space technology applications. They considered strengthening cooperation in space research in areas such as remote sensing, satellite communication, space science, and practical applications of space technology.
20. Prime Minister Modi and President Sisi underscored the importance of an open, free, stable, accessible, safe, trusted and accountable cyberspace, as enabler for economic growth and innovation. In particular, they reaffirmed a multi-stakeholder approach to internet governance and their wish to deepen deliberations on the applicability of international law to cyberspace and set norms of responsible behaviour of States, in light of grave security challenges posed by a worrying increase in the malicious uses of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). While highlighting their wish to increase bilateral cooperation on ICT-related issues, the two leaders welcomed the signing of the MoU on Cooperation in the area of Cyber Security.
21. Recognizing the challenges posed by the COVID pandemic, particularly to the developing world, President Sisi and Prime Minister Modi agreed to cooperate in ensuring more robust global supply chains, enhanced preparedness and access to healthcare. They appreciated the support and cooperation extended by both sides during the pandemic and welcomed the collaboration between vaccine manufactures in India and Egypt. Both leaders expressed appreciation for the mass COVID vaccination programmes in each other’s country as well as their humanitarian initiatives to provide vaccines, medical supplies, and medicines to countries around the world. They welcomed the hosting of the 1st meeting of the JWG on Pharmaceuticals (March 2022) and the JWG on Health and Medicine (April 2022). They expressed intent to strengthen cooperation in the field of healthcare, drugs and pharmaceuticals.
22. The two sides expressed commitment to enhance bilateral cooperation in the fields of disease control and addressing health crises by supporting efforts for the joint production of pharmaceuticals and transfer of relevant technology in a way that can ensure access to these products by larger sections of people of developing countries, especially in Africa and Asia. The two sides stressed the importance of greater scientific and academic exchanges with an emphasis on sharing experience and research in the fields of information technology, medicine and pharmaceuticals.
Green and Sustainable Development
23. The two sides expressed their satisfaction that they attach high priority to the issues of climate change, environment, sustainable development, and encourage the use of new and renewable energy. They agreed on the continuation of their relevant joint efforts in these areas through the exchange of experiences and the models developed to adapt and build resilience to the negative impacts of climate change.
24. Prime Minister Modi congratulated President Sisi for the successful hosting of the 27th Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Sharm el-Sheikh in November 2022 and the contribution of Egypt for making the Conference a success. President Sisi expressed support for Prime Minister Modi’s mantra of LiFE, ‘Lifestyle for Environment’ initiative based on the mindful utilization of resources and Mission LiFE which is for making the fight against climate change inclusive where everyone can contribute and embolden the spirit of Pro Planet People. Prime Minister Modi also expressed support for President Sisi’s ‘Go Green Initiative’ that aims to change behaviours, spread environmental awareness and urge citizens to protect the environment, natural resources, natural protectorates, and marine life to maintain sustainability. Both leaders recognized that centuries-old civilizations of India and Egypt have sustainable lifestyle practices embedded in their culture and traditions that are examples for the globe on sustainability and essential for living in harmony with nature.
25. Both leaders underlined their firm commitment to taking ambitious climate action on the basis of the agreed principles of the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement with clean, low-carbon pathways in accordance with National Circumstances. They reaffirmed their personal resolve to accelerate the clean energy transition to fulfill respective climate action commitments. They welcomed Egypt’s leadership at COP27, especially concerning setting up of Loss and Damage Fund for assisting developing countries which are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change and welcomed the launch of the ‘Global Renewable Hydrogen Forum’ (GRHF).
26. Both leaders expressed a desire to strengthen cooperation in renewable energy, particularly green hydrogen, and welcomed the recent signing of a Framework Agreement and MoUs between Indian companies and the Egyptian authorities for the setting up of large-scale green hydrogen and green ammonia projects in the Suez Canal Economic Zone. They reiterated the significance of the clean energy transition and agreed to strengthen cooperation in the clean energy sector between the two countries.
Science, Technology and Education
27. Noting their longstanding science and technology cooperation with satisfaction, the two leaders agreed that India and Egypt could work together in areas of emerging technologies through sharing best practices and undertaking joint research in areas of mutual interest such as nano-technology, bio-technology and renewable energy. They recognized the enormous potential of ICTs to the promotion of economic and social goals. They welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation in the field of IT between the two sides with a focus on e-Governance, e-Public service delivery including e-learning, telemedicine, re-skilling and up-skilling of young talent in areas of new and emerging technologies. They also welcomed the presence of Indian IT companies in Egypt and expressed confidence about closer collaboration in the IT sector.
28. Both leaders agreed that education and skills development through the exchange of students and academics between the two countries generates valuable people-to-people links. They decided to enhance bilateral partnership in the domain of education by exploring the possibility of further collaboration between Universities in Egypt and the Public Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) of India. The two sides are determined to hold more consultations among the concerned national agencies to facilitate the procedures for establishing a branch of an Indian HEI in Egypt under the framework of the relevant regulations and laws in the two countries.
Art, Culture and Heritage
29. Both leaders appreciated the growing cultural exchanges between India and Egypt and welcomed the signing of the MoU in the field of Culture between the two countries, which aims to further promote bilateral exchanges in the field of music and dance, theatre, literature, library, archives and festivals. The leaders encouraged both sides to take forward cooperation in this area under the MoU between Prasar Bharati of India and the National Media Authority of Egypt, for the exchange and co-production of radio and television programs, exchange of personnel, training and research.
30. Both leaders recognized that historical monuments and archaeological sites in India and Egypt represent invaluable treasures of cultural heritage for humanity. They expressed hope that joint efforts by India and Egypt in the preservation and protection of ancient sites will help broaden the understanding of the human past and culture and raise cultural awareness among the people of the two countries.
31. Noting the importance of enhancing people-to-people contacts between India and Egypt, the two leaders agreed to explore possibilities to organize joint festivals, encourage the exchange of visits among pioneering figures in various art forms, explore common cultural elements, encourage translation of literary works, support cinematic creativity, and develop film industry in the two countries.
32. The two sides attached importance to enhance tourism cooperation by encouraging tourism and promotional events. They agreed to work on operating flights between New Delhi and Cairo, which may be followed by the operation of direct flights between other points of call in their respective countries, as per mutual agreement. The two countries are committed to encourage airlines of their respective countries to proceed fast in this direction by offering them all possible facilities and required flexibility.
33. The two sides attach significant importance to the reform of the governance architecture of the international multilateral system through coordination among the developing and like-minded countries with regard to common issues of mutual interest, including sustainable development, alleviation of poverty, climate change, food security and energy security.
34. The two leaders acknowledged the close cooperation between India and Egypt in various multilateral forums and affirmed their commitment to achieve comprehensive reforms of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), including by expanding both categories of membership and enhancing the representation of developing countries. India expressed its appreciation for Egypt’s efforts as a non-permanent member of the UNSC for the term 2016-17. For its part, Egypt also appreciated India’s contribution as a non-permanent member of the UNSC for the term 2021-22. Both countries agreed to cooperate when any of them is elected as a non-permanent member of the UNSC. Egypt took note of India’s candidature for a non-permanent membership of the UNSC for the term 2028-29.
35. The two leaders highlighted the leading role of India and Egypt in the maintenance of international peace and security by being among the ten largest troop and police contributing countries to the United Nations peacekeeping missions. In this context, they reaffirmed the importance of ensuring the participation of troop-contributing countries in the decision-making process of such operations.
36. President Sisi praised India’s leadership in the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Coalition for Disaster Resilience (CDRI). India appreciated Egypt’s support for the ISA and looks forward to Egypt’s membership of the CDRI.
37. The two sides expressed their determination to intensify exchanges of visits at the Summit, Ministerial and official levels. They agreed to hold regular consultations and work on modalities of ‘Strategic Partnership’ to ensure that the relations are taken to higher levels to realize the mutual interests of the people of both countries.
38. The talks were held in an atmosphere of warmth and trust to further strengthen the friendly relations and multifaceted cooperation between the two countries. President Sisi thanked Prime Minister Modi for the warm hospitality extended by the Government and the people of India. President Sisi extended a cordial invitation to Prime Minister Modi to visit Egypt and the two leaders looked forward to continuing interactions at all levels and fora.
January 26, 2023