‘President El Sisi’s R-Day Invitation Is A Truly Historic Moment For India-Egypt Relations’
The invitation to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to be the chief guest for India’s Republic Day Parade is a “truly historic moment” for India-Egypt relations according to Egyptian Ambassador Wael Mohamed Awad Hamed. Speaking to StratNews Gohale’s Editor-in-chief Nitin Gokhale, the Egyptian envoy stressed that while both countries had a strong relationship, particularly during the time of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and President Gamal Abdel Nasser in the 1950s and 60s, Egypt’s head-of-state had never been invited to be the chief guest at India’s Republic Day Parade. The fact that President Sisi had been invited marked a “new phase” in India-Egypt relations. Already both countries were taking advantage of this by increasing defence cooperation while also discussing global issues of concern on which they had common positions such as the Ukraine crisis, food security and climate change among others. Such commonality of positions, the envoy stressed, would be discussed through the year as Egypt was an invited guest by India to the G-20 summit level meeting in September. On the trade front, the ambassador stressed that Egypt and India had enjoyed a new high of $7 billion dollars in 2022, a figure that he expected to go up to $12 billion in the coming five years. More importantly, he stressed, Egypt and India needed to take advantage of other’s markets. With FTAs with other African countries, Egypt could be India’s “springboard” into North Africa enabling New Delhi to reach a potential market of 1400 million – the size of India’s population while Egyptian companies could enjoy access to India’s huge market. Such a partnership had huge potential and boded well for the future.