India-Egypt Strategic Partnership
In Cairo on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi had one-on-one discussions about forming a strategic alliance. The Order of the Nile, the highest accolade bestowed by the Egyptian government, was presented to the visiting Indian leader, and Mr Modi called his first official visit to Egypt “historic.”
Since the two nations’ formal connections were established in 1955, India and Egypt have maintained bilateral relations. Their partnership has been characterised over time by mutual respect, teamwork, and involvement in a variety of interests. The relationship between India and Egypt main aspects are as follows:
- Historical and Cultural Links: There are numerous historical and cultural ties between Egypt and India. Indian and Egyptian ancient civilizations interacted through trade and cultural exchanges. The two nations now feel a sense of kinship thanks to their shared history.
- Diplomatic Engagement: Indian and Egyptian diplomats have frequently exchanged high-level visits and correspondence. Heads of state, ministers, and other officials from both nations have visited frequently, strengthening bilateral connections and creating opportunities for collaboration.
- Trade and Economic Relations: The relationship between India and Egypt has substantial trade and economic cooperation components. India is one of Egypt’s top Asian commercial partners, and bilateral trade between the two nations has been steadily increasing. Petroleum products, chemicals, textiles, engineering items, and medicines are important trade segments.
- Defence cooperation: India and Egypt have worked together in the defence industry, particularly in the areas of joint training exercises, the acquisition of defence equipment, and military training. Both nations have an interest in preventing terrorism and preserving regional peace.
- Cultural Exchanges: Cultural and educational interactions have been very important in fostering people-to-people ties between Egypt and India. To advance cross-cultural understanding, the Egyptian Ministry of Culture and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) have organised performances, exhibitions, and cultural events. Additionally, Egyptian students study in India through various scholarship programmes, while Indian students pursue higher education there.
- Energy Coordination: With a focus on renewable energy, oil exploration, and energy security, India and Egypt have worked together in the energy sector. Egypt has indicated an interest in India’s knowledge of renewable energy technologies, and India has shown interest in investing in Egypt’s oil and gas industry.
- Cooperation in security and counterterrorism: India and Egypt have worked closely together to combat terrorism and extremism. To combat terrorism and bolster security, both nations have shared intelligence and information. Both nations have also had security issues.
- Multilateral Cooperation: India and Egypt have worked together on several multilateral platforms, such as the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the G77, and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA). They have collaborated on areas of shared concern and supported each other’s applications for membership in international organisations.
What was discussed in recent Bilateral discussions?
- India and Egypt have collaborated on green and renewable projects because they value clean energy and natural resources. The two parties emphasised how important it would be for them to work together on green and renewable projects in the future.
- The leaders talked about multilateral cooperation, notably in the context of the G-20. They emphasised the necessity for coordinated efforts to solve issues such as food security, energy security, and climate change.
- The newly formed ‘India Unit’ within the Egyptian Cabinet was recognized as a valuable tool to steer bilateral collaborations. This unit is expected to facilitate and streamline cooperation between India and Egypt across various sectors.
- Prime Minister Modi paid homage to over 4,300 Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives in Egypt and Aden during World War I. He visited the Heliopolis Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery to honour their memory.
- Prime Minister Modi met with members of the Indian community during his visit, reaffirming the strong bonds between India and the Indian diaspora in Egypt.
What is the Order of the Nile?
- Kiladat El Nil, often known as the Order of the Nile, was founded in 1915 and served as one of the main orders of the Kingdom of Egypt until the monarchy was overthrown in 1953. Later, it was reinstated as the Republic of Egypt’s highest state honour.
- Sultan Hussein Kamel of Egypt established the order to honour people who have contributed significantly to the nation. It was frequently given to prominent Egyptian civilians as well as British officers and officials who served in Egypt. It had a lesser rank than the Order of Ismail.
- There were five classes of the Order of the Nile: Grand Cordon, Grand Officer, Commander, Officer, and Knight.
- The Order of the Nile, the highest accolade bestowed by the Egyptian government, was presented to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) Signed:
- Agriculture: To advance cooperation in the sector, an MoU was signed. Its goals include fostering agricultural productivity, exchanging best practices, and facilitating commerce in agricultural goods.
- Archaeology and Antiquities: The protection and development of ancient treasures and antiquities will be strengthened through the signing of another Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which will also promote cultural exchanges between the two nations.
- Competition Law: To foster collaboration, exchange knowledge, and build institutional capacity in the area of competition regulation, an MoU on competition law was signed.