Ausaf Sayeed, Secretary (CPV and OIA), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Monday that India was “looking forward” to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s visit to India as the main guest for the Republic Day function. It is the first time that an Egyptian president has been invited as the main guest for the Republic Day function, Sayeed told ANI during an interview.

Sayeed said: “It is the first visit as the main guest of an Egyptian president. Of course, we had leaders from the Arab world before. We also had the Saudi king before and others. But, this is the first time since Egypt.” He further said: “Egypt is a very important bilateral partner for us. We are celebrating 75 years of our engagement with Egypt. In fact, it was one of the first countries we established our diplomatic relationship with, just the first week.” when we became independent So, we are looking forward to this visit.”

Speaking to ANI, the top Indian diplomat said: “Egypt is an important player in the Arab world, not only in the Arab world but also in Africa. Therefore, our relationship also goes back, both in the historical context and in the the modern context. Ausaf Sayeed said that the Egyptian president, during his visit, will visit Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“President Sisi will have a bilateral engagement with our prime minister and will also have discussions on bilateral, regional and international issues. He will also have a business meeting and then take part in the Republic Day celebrations,” Sayeed told ANI. Calling the Egyptian president’s two-day visit “very interesting,” Sayeed said the MEA will share more information as the visit gets closer. He further said that the visit is important for diplomatic outreach and economic engagement.

He said: “We spent two very interesting days with him. As the visit gets closer, we will share more information with you, but from now on we are looking forward to this important visit, as mentioned in the seminar, very important from the context of our diplomatic outreach not only diplomatic outreach but also for our economic engagement. Many companies are hoping to enhance their presence in Egypt.” Asked how inviting Egypt to a G20 event in India will add to the ties between the two countries, Sayeed said that the Egyptian ambassador has already said that he wants to work with India to enhance the southern voice on platforms like G20.

Earlier, during an ICWA panel discussion on ‘India-Egypt Ties in the Changing Global Order’, Sayeed said: “Our focus today is to strengthen this bond while fostering new connections. Egypt is our valued partner and has a role to play. essential in maintaining peace and stability in the Arab world and Africa”. He further said, “The India-Egypt partnership has immense potential and can reach greater heights based on the Global South commonalities we share historically. We have excellent cooperation in multilateral fora and good understanding on regional and global issues.” (AND ME)

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