India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Cairo on Saturday for a two-day visit aimed at strengthening ties with Egypt.
Modi was greeted at Cairo International Airport by Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly. The two leaders are scheduled to hold a roundtable meeting on Saturday to discuss aspects of bilateral cooperation, including trade, investment, and security.
Modi is also expected to meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and other senior officials.
The visit comes at a time when India and Egypt are seeking to expand their economic ties. India is Egypt’s largest trading partner in Asia, and the two countries have a long history of cooperation in the fields of defence, security, and culture.
In January, Al-Sisi visited India as the chief guest of the Indian Republic Day celebrations. During the state visit, the two countries agreed to elevate their relationship to a “Strategic Partnership.”
One of the key areas of discussion during Modi’s visit is likely to be trade. India is interested in exporting more goods to Egypt, and Egypt is interested in importing more wheat from India.
However, the two countries may also discuss the possibility of barter trade, in which Egypt would purchase goods from India using rupees. This would help to boost trade between the two countries, as well as help diversify Egypt’s sources of imports.
Mohammed Soliman, director at the Middle East Institute, told Daily News Egypt earlier that India and Egypt are converging strategically on common concerns such as terrorism, regional stability, maritime security, and the “global (dis)order.”
Soliman explained that the two countries aim to collaborate effectively to address these challenges and expand trade and economic cooperation.
“Today, countries pursue multi-alignment, focusing on specific issues instead of all-encompassing alignment,” he said.
“The reconstruction of India and Egypt’s relationship entails recognizing areas of shared interests, including trade, maritime security, and manufacturing, and addressing global challenges. Moreover, India’s engagement with Egypt expands its horizons into Asia, while Egypt provides India with a gateway to Africa and the Mediterranean.”
Modi’s visit to Cairo is also seen as an opportunity to discuss regional security issues. India and Egypt are both concerned about the rise of terrorism in the Middle East, and they are likely to discuss ways to cooperate in combating this threat.
The visit is also seen as an opportunity to strengthen India’s strategic position in the Middle East. India is seeking to expand its influence in the region, and Egypt is seen as a key partner in this effort.