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PM Modi Likely To Visit Egypt This Month

The sources said the visit is set to boost cooperation in a number of areas including trade, investment, agriculture and defence.

PM Narendra Modi
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit Egypt this month, around six months after the two countries elevated their ties to the level of strategic partnership, diplomatic sources said on Wednesday.

It will be Modi's first visit to the African nation after he became prime minister in 2014.

The sources said the visit is set to boost cooperation in a number of areas including trade, investment, agriculture and defence.

There has been no official announcement on PM Modi's trip to Egypt.

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 ties between the two countries were elevated to the level of strategic partnership during Egyptian President Abdeh Fattah El-Sisi's visit to India in January.

In the talks, the two leaders decided to take the volume of bilateral trade to USD 12 billion in the next five years from around USD 7 billion at present.

The 68-year-old influential Arab leader graced the Republic Day celebrations as the chief guest on January 26.

The sources said Modi's visit to Egypt is set to be alongside his trip to the US.  Egypt has been traditionally one of India's most important trading partners in the African continent.

More than 450 Indian companies are registered in Egypt, of which around 50 are active in various sectors with a combined investment exceeding USD 3 billion, according to official data.

The defence and strategic ties between India and Egypt has been on an upswing in the last few years.

The Indian and Egyptian Armies conducted the first-ever joint exercise in January this year.

Egypt has already shown interest in procuring Tejas light combat aircraft, radars, military helicopters and other platforms from India.

In July last year, the IAF participated in a month-long tactical leadership programme in Egypt with three Su-30 MKI jets and two C-17 transport aircraft. In September, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh paid a three-day visit to Egypt.

-With PTI Input

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