India, Egypt elevate ties to Strategic Partnership, what does it mean for India?

25 January, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma

egypt-india National

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced that India has decided to elevate bilateral relations with Egypt to a strategic partnership.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced that India has decided to elevate bilateral relations with Egypt to a strategic partnership.

“We’ve decided that under India-Egypt Strategic Partnership we will develop a long term framework for greater cooperation in the fields of politics, security, economics and science,” PM Modi said at a joint press conference after holding wide-ranging talks with visiting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. India and Egypt also today exchanged MoUs in the fields of cyber security, culture, information technology, youth matters and broadcasting.

PM Modi and President Sisi also attended the release of commemorative postage stamps to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the foundation of diplomatic relations between India and Egypt.
The commemorative postal stamp was exchanged between Ashwini Vaishnaw, India’s Union Minister of Railways, Communications, Electronics, and Information Technology, and Dr. Amr Ahmed Samih Talaat, Egypt’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology.

El-Sisi, who arrived in Delhi on Tuesday for a three-day visit, will be the chief guest for the Republic Day Parade in 2023.

The History of India-Egypt ties

India and Egypt have a long history of diplomatic relations, dating back to the early 1950s. Both countries have been strong partners in various fields, including trade, culture, and politics.

Trade relations between the two countries have been strong for many years. India is one of Egypt’s largest trading partners, with bilateral trade reaching $4.4 billion in 2019-2020. India exports a wide range of products to Egypt, including textiles, pharmaceuticals, and agricultural products. In turn, Egypt exports a variety of goods to India, including petrochemicals, fertilizers, and cotton.

In recent years, the two countries have also been working to strengthen their cultural ties. This includes increasing cultural exchanges and promoting tourism between the two countries. The two countries also collaborate in the field of education, with several Indian universities offering scholarships to Egyptian students.

Politically, India and Egypt have been strong allies. Both countries have supported each other on various issues at the United Nations and other international forums. Egypt has also been a strong supporter of India’s bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

India and Egypt have also been working together to combat terrorism and extremism. In 2019, both countries participated in a joint counterterrorism exercise, which was aimed at enhancing cooperation and coordination between the two countries’ security forces.

In recent years, India and Egypt have also been cooperating on regional and global issues. Both countries have been working to promote peace and stability in the Middle East, and have also been working together to combat climate change.

Overall, India and Egypt have a strong and multifaceted relationship that continues to grow and evolve. Both countries have a shared interest in promoting peace, stability, and economic development in the region.

What does this Strategic Partnership mean to India?

A strategic partnership with Egypt is significant for India for a number of reasons.

  • Firstly, Egypt is a major player in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It is a key country in the Arab world and has strong political, economic and cultural ties with other countries in the region. India’s partnership with Egypt therefore gives it a strategic foothold in the MENA region, which is important for India’s economic and security interests in the region.
  • Secondly, Egypt is a major energy-producing country and is a key supplier of oil and natural gas to India. India’s strategic partnership with Egypt, therefore, gives it access to a reliable source of energy, which is crucial for its economic growth.
  • Thirdly, both countries have a shared interest in countering terrorism and extremism. India and Egypt have been working together to combat these threats through joint counterterrorism exercises, intelligence sharing and other initiatives.
  • Fourthly, India and Egypt have a shared interest in promoting peace, stability and economic development in the region. Both countries have been working together on various regional and global issues, such as the peace process in the Middle East, and the fight against climate change.
  • Finally, India’s strategic partnership with Egypt also gives it access to the Suez Canal, which is a key waterway for global trade and commerce. This partnership gives India a strategic advantage in terms of trade, as it provides a faster and more cost-effective route for Indian goods to reach markets in Europe and the Americas.

Overall, a strategic partnership with Egypt is important for India as it provides it with a strategic foothold in the MENA region, access to energy resources, helps in countering terrorism, promoting peace and stability and also helps in global trade.