Egypt’s president gives highest honor to visiting Indian prime minister amid improving ties


Cairo (AP) — Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi on Sunday bestowed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Egypt’s highest honor as the two countries tightened their partnership.

El-Sissi welcomed Modi at the presidential palace in Cairo with the Order of the Nile, the Egyptian presidency said in a statement. The leaders signed a declaration elevating Egyptian-Indo ties to a “strategic partnership,” under which the two nations agreed to intensify their cooperation and hold periodic talks, the statement said.

Egypt and India share deep ties that date back to the 1950s, when the two nations played key roles in founding the Non-Aligned Movement, which had sought an alternative path to siding with either with communism or capitalism at the height of the Cold War.

Modi, who arrived in Cairo Saturday, is the first Indian prime minister to pay a state visit to Egypt in more than two decades. His two-day stop came six months after el-Sissi was in New Delhi as an official guest at India’s Independence Day.

Modi also invited the Egyptian leader to attend the G-20 summit, which India will host in September.

Following his talks with el-Sissi, Modi visited a historic mosque, Cairo’s Al-Hakim, which was recently renovated with the help of the India-based Dawoodi Bohra community. He also paid tribute to Indian soldiers who died in World War I and are buried in the Heliopolis War Cemetery in Cairo.

Modi’s trip to Egypt has focused on strengthening bilateral ties between Cairo and New Delhi. The prime minister said both countries have been moving swiftly to increase bilateral trade to $12 billion annually within five years — that’s up from $7.3 billion in 2021-22.

“This is a remarkable year for our shared relations,” Modi told a meeting with Egyptian Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly on Saturday.

Earlier this year, both countries agreed to boost trade cooperation. India, the world’s most populous country, is one of the top five importers of Egyptian products, including crude oil and liquefied natural gas, salt, cotton, inorganic chemicals, and oilseeds. Major Indian exports to Egypt include cotton yarn, coffee, herbs, tobacco, lentils, vehicle parts, ships, boats, and electrical machinery.

El-Sissi and Modi, who came to power in their counties in 2014, have in recent years cultivated closer relationship. And over the last 16 months, they resisted pressure form the West to condemn the Russian war in Ukraine. Both Egypt and India have decades-old ties with the Kremlin.

“There is a change in the global geopolitical and geoeconomic atmosphere wherein both countries wish to play a defining role,” India’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said during a visit to Cairo in September. “Egypt’s geostrategic location acts as a connecting link between Africa, West Asia, the Mediterranean, and Europe and is also an important country from the Indo-Pacific point of view.”

Modi arrived in Cairo Saturday after a four-day trip to the United States, where he held talks with President Joe Biden and top administration officials, addressed the Congress and met with top American executives.

His meeting with el-Sissi came as global attention focused on a brief rebellion by the head of Wagner Group, seen as the greatest challenge to Russian President Vladimir Putin in his more than two decades in power.

Neither Modi not el-Sissi immediately commented on the rebellion.

Share post:



Fourth Bahraini serviceman dies after Houthi drone attack close to Saudi border

Cairo (Reuters) - A fourth Bahraini serviceman died on...

Maldives presidential run-off pits pro-India, pro-China figures

Voters lined up at hundreds of polling stations in the #Maldives on Saturday in a run-off election for president of the #IndianOcean archipelago that pits the incumbent India-leaning leader against a strong pro-#China contender.

Suicide bomber kills at least 7 in Somali tea shop; al Shabaab claims responsibility

Mogadishu (Reuters) - A suicide bomber set off an...

Yemen’s national airline to suspend flights from Sanaa to Jordan

Aden (Reuters) - Yemen's national airline will suspend the...