India-Egypt Relations

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  • India-Egypt Relationship: Looking for a new Momentum

    India-Egypt Relationship: Looking for a new Momentum

    Egypt under President Gamal Abdel Nasser and India under the leadership of its first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru were the torchbearers of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). Their commitment to socialism also kept both the leaders and countries drawn towards each other.

    September 01, 2015

    Subash Vaid asked: What could be the impact of President Morsi’s removal on India's relations with Egypt?

    Gulshan Dietl replies: India and Egypt have shared common visions of Afro-Asian Solidarity and Non-Aligned Movement, apart from mutually beneficial and warm bilateral relations for a long time. Last year, President Muhammad Morsi made a successful visit to India. He even expressed a wish that the India-Egypt ties should be promoted “till they reach the level of strategic partnership.” Morsi’s visit was a renewal of our long and close relationship with Egypt. The eventual overthrow of President Morsi is an internal Egyptian development, and it has been India’s consistent policy not to interfere in the domestic affairs of other states.

    The Indian Ministry of External Affairs did not take a stand on the violent upheaval that brought about the regime change in Egypt. It only urged “all political forces to abjure violence, exercise restraint, respect democratic principles and the rule of law and engage in a conciliatory dialogue to address the present situation”. In the circumstances, therefore, there should be no impact on our relations with Egypt.

    Manisha asked: What is the significance of the recent visit of President Morsi of Egypt to India?

    Gulshan Dietl replies: India and Egypt have shared common visions of Afro-Asian Solidarity and Non-Aligned Movement, apart from mutually beneficial and warm bilateral relations for a long time. President Muhammad Morsi’s visit to India, therefore, needs to be assessed within that context. After the Arab Spring revolution, Egypt is seeking to accelerate economic development in the country and is reaching out to the world in that endeavour. Morsi was accompanied by the ministers of communication, information technology, trade, commerce and investment as also a high-level delegation of businessmen. Speaking at the apex business associations in Delhi, he invited Indian investments in Egypt.

    More specifically, he invited Indian investment in the proposed Suez Canal Free Trade Zone, which could eventually help in boosting Indian exports to Africa and Europe. He sought Indian help in setting up a centre of excellence in information technology in the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, in building a nano satellite for Egypt and in capacity building to solve the problem of unemployment. Economic, cultural, and tourism ties were sought to be strengthened. An agreement to enhance cooperation in defence and in international forums was reached. In Morsi’s words, the ties should be promoted “till they reach the level of strategic partnership.” Morsi’s visit should be seen as a renewal of our long and close relationship with Egypt.

    Iran-Egypt Rapprochement: Compulsions and Realities

    Along the short recent journey in discovery of friendly relations, Iran and Egypt have hit roadblocks that are not only ideological in nature but also illustrate their individual compulsions, conflicting national interests and complex regional dynamics.

    March 08, 2013

    Kamlesh Kumar Jingar asked: How India and Egypt can rebuild their relations after the Arab Spring movement?

    Prasanta Kumar Pradhan replies: India and Egypt are looking forward to strengthening their bilateral ties in the aftermath of the regime change in Cairo. India has shown no hesitation in dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood which is in power and has already made the first contacts with the new government. The Egyptian Government is expected to reciprocate India’s initiatives to further deepen the relationship.

    As India-Egypt relationship is often seen in the context of the golden era of the Nehru-Nasser relationship, there lie a number of challenges to the relationship with the changing geo-political realities. There are, however, a number of areas of potential cooperation. Trade, an important factor in the relationship, could help strengthen the interaction between the two countries. Both sides need to take measures to build confidence on the issue of trade and investment. Sectors, such as, irrigation, solar energy, agriculture, information technology, human resources, etc., are other areas of potential cooperation and collaboration between the two.

    Politically, there is a need for both the countries to exchange ideas through frequent high level visits and contacts. It is also important to forge consensus on issues of regional and international concern. Both the countries have important roles to play in their respective regions. To regain the old charm in the relationship, the people-to-people contact should be developed between the two countries through the medium of education, tourism, culture and academic exchanges.

    Crisis in Egypt: Implications for India

    In the past India has followed a policy of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other countries. However, it cannot shy away from its commitment and support to a peaceful mass movement for political reform.

    February 04, 2011

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