Jaishankar discusses bilateral relations, Ukrainian conflict and Indo-Pacific with his Egyptian counterpart


External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry on Saturday and the two leaders discussed a range of issues including the Ukraine conflict and the Indo-Pacific and exchanged views on strengthening bilateral relations and how to create a more resilient global economy.

Jaishankar is in Egypt for a two-day visit at the invitation of his Egyptian counterpart Shoukry.

“A warm and productive encounter with FM Sameh Shoukry from Egypt. Reflected our deep-rooted ties as we celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations this year,” he said in a tweet.

“As active states in shaping global debates, we discussed developments in our regions and exchanged views on the Ukrainian conflict and the Indo-Pacific. A polarized world needs independent thought and voices of reason,” he said in another tweet.

Jaishankar said India and Egypt’s cooperation in multilateral forums remains strong and welcomed Egypt’s participation in the G20 next year and BRICS New Development Bank and Cooperation Organization of Shanghai (OCS).

“Our political cooperation has always been strong. We have several establishments. Some of them have met regularly, and some of them have to meet. We also hope to organize a meeting of our counter-terrorism working group. But overall, we have always had a good political understanding and I think today’s meeting and discussions have improved it,” Jaishankar said in his opening speech at the press conference with his Egyptian counterpart.

He said the two countries have recently stepped up their defense and security cooperation and there have been discussions on how to collaborate more closely on the defense side, especially in defense production.

“Trade and commerce have once again seen a very strong increase. Last year, we made our largest trades – over $7.2 billion. It was a big leap. Today we looked at that. We agreed that there were still opportunities for growth. That we both need to work to resolve any market access issues that we might have respectively,” Jaishankar said.

“Investments have also been very positive. Indian companies now have a registered investment of over $3 billion and we again have close to $1 billion in the pipeline. And we see a lot of new possibilities. I shared with the minister some of what we’re getting from industry, new opportunities here, particularly in renewables. So we are again very optimistic on this point,” he said.

The two ministers also discussed ways to increase air connectivity and tourism.

Jaishankar said both India and Egypt are states of civilization and share a tradition of thought beyond their narrow national interests.

“We’ve always been interested in the world, involved in the world, and again, we have a history of working together. We obviously spent time discussing the Ukrainian conflict and its implications for fertilizer, food and energy security. I shared with the Minister my perspectives on the Indo-Pacific. He spoke of his opinions. We discussed how to create a more resilient global economy,” he said.

Jaishankar also backed Egypt’s COP 27 presidency next month. ”This is the fight for climate action, and to secure climate justice, this is something that is close to the heart of all countries in the South. I therefore assured the minister of our full support,” he said.

“So overall it was a good day for our bilateral relationship. We will be able to give more solid guidance to our systems, how to move forward. I think it was a good meeting with the minister, on international issues,” Jaishankar added.

Earlier today, Jaishankar paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at the famous Al Horreya Park in the Egyptian capital. Gandhi’s bust was unveiled at the park in 2019 to mark his 150th birthday.

India and Egypt share a close political understanding based on a long history of contacts and cooperation on bilateral, regional and global issues. The two countries have cooperated closely in multilateral forums and were founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement. The year 2022 holds special significance as it marks the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between India and Egypt.

Egypt has traditionally been one of India’s most important trading partners on the African continent. Bilateral trade grew rapidly in 2021-22, amounting to 7.26 billion, registering an increase of 75% from the financial year 2020-21, according to the Indian Embassy in Egypt.

India’s exports to Egypt during this period amounted to USD 3.74 billion, registering an increase of 65% over the same period in the financial year 2020-21. Meanwhile, Egyptian exports to India reached $3.52 billion, registering an 86 percent increase, the embassy said on its website.

Currently, the Indian community in Egypt numbers about 3,200 people, most of whom are concentrated in Cairo. There are also a small number of families in Alexandria, Port Said and Ismailia.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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