In a bid to deal with the twin challenges of terrorism and radicalisation, India and Egypt on Friday agreed to strengthen defence and security cooperation after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met here for bilateral talks.
However, while the Indian officials had said that Egypt’s position on Kashmir would be raised, there was no mention of it in the joint statement.
Identifying terrorism as one of the “gravest threats”, the two countries decided to have greater information and operational exchanges to combat the menace.
The two leaders welcomed the recent exchanges on security cooperation and counter-terrorism at the level of National Security Advisers and the signing of an MoU for cooperation between the two National Security Councils.
“We are of one view that growing radicalisation, violence and spread of terror are a real threat across regions,” Modi said.
“The two leaders strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. They considered terrorism to be one of the gravest threats to international peace and security. They reaffirmed their resolve to strengthen cooperation in combating terrorism at all levels.
“They also reaffirmed their resolve to work together at UN on concluding the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism,” a joint statement issued after the talks said.
The two countries also decided to expand trade and commercial ties, holding that there are huge opportunities to exploit untapped economic opportunities in the two countries. An MoU on maritime shipping was also signed.
“Modi welcomed Egyptian investments in India under the ‘Make in India’ initiative, in the manufacturing and services sectors. President Al-Sisi invited Indian participation in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, particularly in sectors such as petro-chemicals, energy and agriculture,” said the joint statement.
The Prime Minister said the two countries agreed on an “action-oriented agenda” to drive the engagements in a range of sectors apart from deciding to expand defence trade, training and capacity building.
Sisi said his government will work towards a robust security cooperation with India besides laying out a roadmap for intensification of bilateral trade and investment cooperation.
Calling the talks very productive, Sisi said a large number of issues ranging from tackling terror, expanding trade ties to dealing with challenge of climate change were deliberated upon.
Referring to defence ties, the two leaders expressed their satisfaction that defence cooperation is taking place through regular exchanges and welcomed deepening and expansion of defence relations through high-level visits, training, exercises, transit facilities, and hardware cooperation.