In his first bilateral trip to Egypt as the external affairs minister, S Jaishankar will begin a two-day visit to the African nation on Saturday to meet his counterpart Sameh Hassan Shoukry in Cairo and discuss a range of bilateral, regional, and international issues of mutual interest between the two Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) founder-states.
"The external affairs minister's visit to Egypt will provide an opportunity to review the entire gamut of our bilateral and multilateral relations and to exchange views with the Egyptian leadership covering a whole range of issues of mutual interest," the MEA said.
"The visit provides an opportunity to deepen cooperation and explore new initiatives in the bilateral partnership," it said in a statement.
Jaishankar will also interact with the Indian community based in Egypt, including students, and address a gathering of Egyptian and Indian business community.
India's external affairs minister Dr Jaishankar to travel to Egypt from Oct 15-16. Visit comes even as next month Egypt's Sharm El Sheikh will host the COP27 summit from 6th to 18th November. pic.twitter.com/v5XGPcmu8O— Sidhant Sibal (@sidhant) October 13, 2022
Egypt has been one of India's largest trading partners in Africa and the promotion of bilateral trade, commerce and investments will be one of the focus areas during the visit, it said.
India-Egypt bilateral trade touched a record high at USD 7.26 billion during the financial year 2021-22. Indian investment in Egypt exceeds USD 3.15 billion.
Egypt has been invited as a 'guest country' during India's Presidency of G-20 in 2022-23.
Further, over 50 Indian companies are actively present in Egypt in a range of sectors like manufacturing, chemicals, energy, infrastructure and retail.
India and Egypt traditionally enjoy warm and friendly relations underpinned by historical and cultural linkages. The two nations boast of being home to rich ancient civilisations that grew along the banks of the rivers Nile and Indus. 'India by the Nile' is an annual cultural festival celebrated by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture in commemoration of the shared civilisational ties between the two countries.
Both countries are celebrating 75 years of establishment of diplomatic relations this year. Under Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, the two countries also partnered as founder-members of the Non-Aligned Movement and concluded a historic Friendship Treaty in 1955.
Egypt is a powerful state in the African continent and boosting bilateral relations can enable India to meaningfully expand its footprint in the region.
(With inputs from PTI)