New Delhi: Egypt President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Thursday called on President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan here.
Welcoming el-Sisi to India, Mukherjee said: “The participation of Egypt in the third India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) will contribute to the deepening of India’s ties with Africa.”
“India greatly values its civilisational relationship with Egypt. India considers Egypt to be a major power in the region and a bridge between Asia and Africa,” he said.
A Rashtrapati Bhavan release quoted President Mukherjee as saying: “India and Egypt have a history of working together for peace and development in the world. India is the sixth largest trading partner of Egypt and Egypt’s third largest export destination.”
“Indian investments in Egypt have reached $3 billion. These investment flows bring technology, employ almost 35,000 Egyptians and contribute to high export earnings,” the president added.
Mukherjee also congratulated the Egyptian government for the completion of the new Suez Canal in less than a year.
“The development of new industrial zones around the new Suez Canal provides an opportunity to further strengthen economic ties,” he said.
The president also evinced a desire to have India’s relationship with Egypt progress on three pillars namely closer political and security cooperation, deeper economic engagement and scientific collaboration as well as wider cultural contacts and people-to-people exchanges.
While describing el-Sisi’s visit to India as a landmark event in India-Egypt relations, Mukherjee said: “This visit will provide the foundation for a new era of partnership between the two countries.”
Reciprocating Mukherjee’s sentiments, el-Sisi said his participation in the IAFS was inevitable considering the outstanding relations which bond Africa and India.
“India-Egypt relations are historic, long established and continuing. Egypt is committed to further strengthening of the relations. It welcomes Indian investments and would like to benefit from India’s expertise, technologies and experience,” he said.