Egypt’s hosting of the UN Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh this November showcases its readiness and wherewithal to play a crucial role in matters of global concern, said Ajit Gupte — India’s Ambassador in Cairo.
He added that India will participate in the COP27 with a large delegation and work closely with the host to ensure a successful and productive conference.
Furthermore, the ambassador said that in the process of emerging from the shackles of colonialism, both India and Egypt have shared close political understanding based on a long history of contacts and cooperation in bilateral, regional, and global issues.
“We have cooperated closely in multilateral fora and were the founding members of Non-Aligned Movement. India represents the aspirations of developing countries in multilateral fora and has been vociferously seeking reforms in the UN and other international organisations,” Gupte added.
He also stressed that India and Egypt are marching ahead to fulfil the aspirations of their respective citizens to gain their rightful place in the global community.
Speaking about bilateral cooperation in the defence sector, Gupte said that India and Egypt have seen a steady expansion in military cooperation in recent years.
Moreover, he noted that the air forces of the two countries conducted their first ever Joint Tactical Air Exercise, ‘Dessert Warrior’, in late October 2021 in India.
“Chief of Air Staff of India Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhary visited Egypt in November 2021. The Egyptian Navy also participated in a Multilateral Indian Naval Exercise MILAN-2022 between February and March in India,” Gupte said.
He also mentioned that a 57-member Indian Air Force contingent with three Sukhoi-30 fighter aircrafts and two C-17 aircrafts visited Egypt to participate in a month-long Tactical Leadership Programme in June 2022.
The ambassador stressed that Indian Naval Ships are also regularly visiting Egyptian ports on goodwill visits. Meanwhile Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Air Force Air Marshal Mohamed Abbas Helmy visited India in the first week of July.
Concerning cultural cooperation, Gupte noted that the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC) of the Indian Embassy is working to strengthen cultural relations and mutual understanding between the peoples of the two countries through its courses in yoga, Hindi, Urdu, dance and music, academic seminars, film shows, exhibitions, and cultural festivals.
He added that the centre’s language classes have been particularly popular since they started in 1992. Moreover, every year, India offers a number of scholarships to Egyptian students for higher education in reputed Indian universities and colleges from the undergraduate to the Ph.D. level.
“Since the decline of the COVID-19 pandemic, the embassy has resumed most of its activities in commercial and cultural domains,” he stressed.
Furthermore, He pointed out the continuous political engagement between the two countries, which has cemented their ties of friendship.
He also stressed that President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s visits to India in October 2015 and in September 2016 gave further impetus to India’s brotherly and friendly relations with Egypt.
Also, during the pandemic, Egypt procured 50,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines that were made in India. Additionally, Egypt dispatched three planes with medical aid to India in May 2021 that helped save many lives.