New Delhi: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi arrived here on Tuesday for a three-day state visit focused on enhancing bilateral ties in a range of areas, including agriculture, digital domain, and trade. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sisi will hold wide-ranging talks on Wednesday (January 25). Following the talks, the two sides are expected to ink half a dozen agreements to boost ties in a number of areas, people familiar with the matter said. The 68-year-old influential Arab leader will grace the Republic Day celebrations on January 26.
Sisi will be accompanied by a high-level delegation that will include five ministers and senior officials. The Egyptian president visited India in October 2015 to participate in the third India-Africa Forum Summit which was followed by his state visit in September 2016.
This is for the first time that the President of Egypt has been invited as the chief guest to India's Republic Day celebrations. A military contingent from the Egyptian Army will also participate in the Republic Day parade.
Sisi will be accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Wednesday ahead of his talks with Modi. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will also call on Sisi. "The forthcoming visit of President Sisi is expected to further strengthen and deepen the time-tested partnership between India and Egypt," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement on Saturday.
India is keen to further expand ties with Egypt, a key player in the politics of both the Arab world as well as Africa. It is also seen as a major gateway to markets in Africa and Europe. The MEA said the multifaceted relationship between the two countries is based on shared cultural values, commitment to foster economic growth, collaboration in the fields of defence and security, and convergence on regional and global issues.
The bilateral trade between the two sides has been on an upswing in the last few years. The bilateral trade between India and Egypt achieved a "record high" of USD 7.26 billion in 2021-22, according to the MEA. More than 50 Indian companies have invested around USD 3.15 billion in diverse sectors of the Egyptian economy, including chemicals, energy, textile, garment, agri-business, and retail.
(With inputs from PTI)