New Delhi: After visits to Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, foreign minister Sushma Swaraj will be travelling to Egypt on 24-25 August, the ministry said on Tuesday.

The visit comes at the invitation of Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Hassan Shoukry. During her visit, Swaraj will call on Egyptian president Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, besides holding talks with her counterpart, a statement from the ministry said.

Swaraj will also meet Nabil ElAraby, secretary general of the League of Arab States, and other leaders.

India and Egypt have traditionally enjoyed close and friendly relations and Swaraj’s visit to Cairo “will provide an opportunity to review the entire gamut of our bilateral and multilateral relations and to exchange views with the Egyptian leadership covering whole range of issues of mutual interest," the statement said.

Swaraj’s visit to Egypt follows Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 16-17 August visit to the United Arab Emirates, during which the two countries elevated ties to a “comprenhesive strategic partnership" agreeing to new steps to qualitatively change the tenor of bilateral relations.

Modi’s visit to the UAE was the first by an Indian prime minister to that country in 34 years.

Swaraj’s visit comes as Egypt has approved stringent new counter-terrorism laws to fight growing jihadist insurgency in the Arab country. Islamist insurgents have stepped up attacks in Egypt after the overthrow of then president Mohammed Morsi two years ago and the Egyptian government under al Sisi has launched a crackdown on the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood party. Morsi had visited India in 2013, two years after then Eqyptian president Hosni Mubarak was forced to quit following the Arab spring protests in Egypt.

Egypt is also taking ambitious steps towards boosting its economy. Al-Sisi earlier this month inaugurated New Suez Canal, a waterway running parallel to a part of the 19th century Suez Canal connecting the Mediterranean and the Red Sea - the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia. The project is worth an estimated $8 billion. A special economic zone is also expected to come up alongside the new canal which is expected to boost the area’s credentials as a an international industrial and logistics hub.

Swaraj is also expected to visit Jordan, Palestine and Israel later this year.

India’s intensifying engagement with the countries of the region comes as the Gulf region is going through flux given Iran’s agreement last month with the international community on its suspect nuclear programme and the revocation of some sanctions on the Shia country. Many countries in the region have been wary of the nuclear agreement with new alliances emerging like the one between Jewish Israel and the Sunni kingdom of Saudi Arabia – both of whom are against the Iran nuclear deal.

India has announced that Modi will be travelling to Israel soon and New Delhi played host to the Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif on Friday. Many of the countries in the region are in a US-led coalition to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the hardline Sunni group that controls large swathes of Iraq and Syria and had last year announced the establishment of a caliphate.

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