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Arab countries sidelined in trouble, India became a big support by helping, heart-opening host for the guest of 74th Republic, what is the historical story of India-Egypt relations

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The economic condition of Egypt is also as bad as that of Pakistan and India is playing the role of a friend well. Even though Egypt is a Muslim country, it has always been opposing Pakistani policies and terrorism.

At present, there is upheaval in the whole world. Everything has changed after Corona. A country like China is engaged in protecting itself from Corona. Even though the rest of the world is roaming free. But there is no peace anywhere. For example, Russia-Ukraine war, India’s tension with China and disputes with almost all the countries bordering China. The war between Armenia and Azerbaijan continues. Iran and Pakistan are struggling with inflation. Turkey and Sweden are at loggerheads. The dictator of North Korea continues to threaten America, Japan and South Korea with missiles. That means something or the other is happening all over the world. But in the midst of all the circumstances, geo politics also seems to be taking a fast turn. India is celebrating the 74th year of its glorious republic. This year, the Chief Guest of the Republic Day celebrations, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi arrived in India. This is the first time that an Egyptian President has been invited as the chief guest for the event. According to the Ministry of External Affairs, for the first time the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt has been invited as the chief guest on the Republic Day of India. A military contingent from the Egyptian Army will also participate in the Republic Day parade. There is not only diplomatic, but also great business cooperation between India and Egypt. The economic condition of Egypt is also as bad as that of Pakistan and India is playing the role of a friend well. Even though Egypt is a Muslim country, it has always been opposing Pakistani policies and terrorism.

What is the significance of Republic Day invitation?

The invitation to be the chief guest of the Republic Day is highly symbolic from the point of view of the Government of India. New Delhi is strategizing with hospitality to decide its chief guest for the Republic Day. The choice of the chief guest every year is determined by a number of reasons such as strategic, diplomatic, commercial interest and international geopolitics.

What is the history of India-Egypt relations?

India and Egypt enjoy close political relations based on a long history of cooperation on bilateral, regional and global issues. A joint declaration on the establishment of diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level was made on August 18, 1947. India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel Nasser signed a friendship treaty between the two countries. Both were instrumental in creating the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) along with Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito. There have been four visits of Prime Minister from India to Egypt since the 1980s. In 1985 when Rajiv was the Prime Minister. Then during PV Narasimha Rao’s tenure, IK Gujral (1997) and Dr. Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister. The then President Mohamed Morsi visited India in March 2013. After the new government led by President Sisi took office in June 2014, the then External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Cairo in August 2015. PM Modi meeting President Sisi on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), New York in September 2015. Pranab Mukherjee and PM Modi meeting Sisi during the 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi in October 2015. President Sisi also paid a state visit to India in September 2016. A joint statement was issued, outlining the three pillars of political-security cooperation, economic engagement and scientific cooperation, and cultural and people-to-people ties as the basis for a new partnership.

What is the status of bilateral trade relations?

Egypt has traditionally been one of India’s most important trading partners in the African continent. The India-Egypt bilateral trade agreement has been in operation since March 1978 and is based on the Most Favored Nation clause. Bilateral trade has grown more than five times in the last 10 years. It reached US$ 4.55 billion in 2018-19. Despite the pandemic, the trade volume declined marginally to USD 4.5 billion in 2019-20 and to USD 4.15 billion in 2020-21. 7.26 billion with a growth of 75 per cent over FY 2020-2021. Bilateral trade has expanded rapidly in 21-22. India’s Ambassador to Egypt Ajit Gupte has also informed that ongoing bilateral trade between India and Egypt is at its highest level.

Egypt facing huge economic crisis

Egypt, a country with a good hold among Arab countries, is going through a serious economic crisis these days. In March last year, the value of Egypt’s official currency fell by almost half against the pound. The inflation rate in Egypt is also very high. The inflation rate in Egypt is currently at 24.4 percent. Not only this, the debt taken from abroad on Egypt has also increased to about 170 billion dollars. In such a difficult time when Egypt should get help from Arab-Muslim countries. So in such a situation, Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait left Egypt. Egypt got into trouble with this. Egypt was isolated due to the indifference of the Arab Muslim countries. In such a situation, India has emerged as a messiah for Egypt. India has continued to help Egypt in difficult times. India was not only seen helping Egypt but also honoring the President of Egypt in India. As the chief guest of the Republic Day in India, the world’s largest democracy, the President of Egypt has come to Delhi as a guest.

India helped

The war between Russia and Ukraine has had the biggest impact on Egypt. Egypt is the biggest importer of wheat from Russia and Ukraine. The outbreak of war between Russia and Ukraine put Egypt in trouble. The outbreak of war between Russia and Ukraine caused a shortage of wheat in the global market. Due to which its prices started touching the sky. In such a situation, it became a challenge for him to provide wheat to the people of his country. In such difficult times, India came forward to help Egypt. He provided Egypt with hundreds of tons of wheat at subsidized rates. According to media reports, in April 2022, talks were held between India and Egypt regarding the supply of one million tonnes of wheat. But in May the wheat shortage started in India itself. Seeing this, the Modi government banned the export of wheat. But India continued to send wheat to many countries including Egypt during that difficult time because India knew how the situation was in Egypt.

India is hitting many targets with one stone

India, Egypt, Indonesia, Yugoslavia were the 4 countries that were not part of any bloc during the Cold War era between the US and the Soviet Union. If you look at the map of the world, there is a Mediterranean Sea in the middle of it. The world has two ways to reach here. First Gibraltar Bay and second Suez Canal. The Suez Canal actually originates in Egypt. There is also a way to Cyprus from here. In this area you will also find Turkiye (earlier Turkey). Tukay supported Pakistan on many such issues including Kashmir which are against the interests of India. Foreign Minister Jaishankar is strengthening relations with Cyprus and Egypt to encircle Turkey. Both these countries have been staunch opponents of Turkey. Focus on another issue. There is an Eastern Mediterranean Gas Photon (EMGF) for the gas in this region. All the countries involved in this are opponents of Turkey and friends of India. These are- Egypt, Cyprus, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Palestine. Obviously, Jaishankar and team are hitting two targets with aggressive diplomacy. First- Forcing Tukaye to stop supporting Pakistan. Second- to make direct access to the Mediterranean Sea in terms of TED.-Acting Akash

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