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In a step forward for India’s diplomatic outreach to West Asia, New Delhi and Cairo have elevated their bilateral relationship to the level of a strategic partnership.

Under this new framework, both sides are set to intensify cooperation under four key pillars including political and security matters, economics and trade, cultural affairs and scientific and academic partnerships.

Under the defence cooperation pillar, both sides will look into cooperation on training, joint exercises, industrial partnerships and defence platforms. Counter-terroirsm, cyber-security cooperation and countering radicalisation will also be a key focus of the bilateral partnership, said Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra at a press briefing. . 

Bolstering the security partnership, India has been invited to join the Egyptian tri-services exercises, named Brightstar, for the first time. These exercises will take place later this year. 

Both sides also upgraded their ambitions for the bilateral trade relationship. Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra revealed that both sides have increased the target for bilateral trade levels to USD 12 billion. Both sides are also to boost trade in pharmaceuticals, infrastructure development and information technology among other fields. 

Given the challenges to supply chain security that were raised by the war in Ukraine, both sides agreed to build reliable supply chains for food, fertilisers and other key products. 

Egypt also thanked India for inviting it to attend the G20 Summit in India this year as a guest. President al-Sisi will have a packed schedule during his time in India. al-Sisi will be hosted by President Droupadi Murmu for a state banquet. 

“President Sisi will have a bilateral meeting and delegation-level talks with the Prime Minister on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest. External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar will call on President Sisi. The visiting dignitary will also interact with Indian Business community at a business event on the same day,’ reads a press release by the Ministry of External Affairs. 

 Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra indicated that Prime Minister Modi will look to make a reciprocal visit to Egypt in the near future.

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