Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday laid a wreath at the Unknown Soldier Memorial Tomb in Cairo and paid his tributes to Egyptians and Arabs who lost their lives in the 1973 October War between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria.
Taking to Twitter, the Office of the Raksha Mantri said, “Raksha Mantri, Shri @rajnathsingh laid wreath at the Unknown Soldier Memorial Tomb in Cairo.” According to an official statement, Defence Minister called on the President of Egypt Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in Cairo.
“Privileged to call on the President of Egypt, H.E. Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in Cairo today. India and Egypt continue to work on enhancing mutual trust and confidence. It was reaffirmed that both the countries are committed to expanding our multi-faceted cooperation,” Defence Minister tweeted.
According to an official statement, both leaders agreed to develop military cooperation further and focus on joint training, defence coproduction and maintenance of equipment, a defence ministry release read.
“The Raksha Mantri was received very warmly by President El-Sisi, who pointed out that bilateral relations between India and Egypt are well-established through history. He expressed appreciation that military-to-military cooperation between the countries has reached a new level and that the signing of MoU on defence cooperation is a major achievement,” the statement read.
Rajnath Singh paid a three-day visit to Egypt starting on Sunday to extend defence cooperation between the two countries further.
“Both leaders agreed to develop military cooperation further and focus on joint training, defence coproduction and maintenance of equipment. They emphasised the need for coproduction and to discuss specific proposals in that regard. Shri Rajnath Singh expressed appreciation for the firm stand taken by Egypt against terrorism. President Sisi emphasised that there is a need for India & Egypt to exchange expertise and best practices in countering the threat of terrorism,” the statement further read.
Defence Minister also acknowledged that Egypt is among the most important trading partners of India in Africa and that bilateral trade has expanded significantly.
He noted with satisfaction the close cooperation in multilateral forums between India and Egypt. Rajnath Singh conveyed his best wishes for the successful hosting of COP27 in November 2022, as per the statement.
The year 2022 is of particular significance since it marks the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between India and Egypt.
Egypt is one of the largest investment destinations for India in the region with an existing Indian investment of USD 3.15 billion. Indian companies continue to execute several projects in Egypt.
Moreover, to bolster defence cooperation between the two countries, a team of the Indian Air Force arrived in Egypt on June 22 to participate in a bilateral ‘Tactical Leadership Programme’ with the Egyptian Air Force.
Egypt and India also enjoy cordial defence relations. There was close cooperation between the Air Forces, with efforts at jointly developing a fighter aircraft in the 1960s. IAF pilots had also trained Egyptian pilots from the 1960s until 1984. In the recent past, since 2015, there have been several high-level exchanges of visits by defence delegations.