INTERVIEW: World crises provide immense scope for cooperation between India and Egypt

Suzy El-Guindy , Friday 20 Jan 2023

Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, secretary in India’s foreign service, told Ahram Online that ongoing world crises caused by the COVID pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war provide immense scope for cooperation between India and Egypt.

Egyptian Indian

 

He pointed to the historical relations between Egyptian and Indian civilisations, which started as early as 1000 BC when Indian traders reached the shores of Egypt.

In 2022, Egypt and India celebrated 75 years of diplomatic relations, which began the same year as India’s independence, he added.

"The Indian position on issues such as Palestine, Libya, Syria, Sudan and South Sudan has been well appreciated by all stakeholders in these conflict zones, and our humanitarian assistance, as well as training and capacity building, is also received well in these countries,” Sayeed said.

Indian Prime Minister Modi is likely to visit Egypt soon, he said, adding that his country has high-level political engagement with the region that has increased during the last eight years.

Modi has visited Gulf countries nine times since May 2014 and also visited Palestine and Israel separately, he explained.

“We will be hosting President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi as chief guest of our Republic Day in 2023,” Sayeed said.

Detailing cooperation between the two countries, Sayeed said "three Indian companies have signed agreements with Egypt to develop Green Hydrogen by making substantial investments — Renew Power ($8 billion), ACME ($6 billion) and OCIOR Energy (formerly Azure Power – $4 billion)."

He also said that current crises, such as the COVID pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war provides immense scope for future cooperation between India and Egypt and the Gulf countries.

These crises have brought to the fore issues related to supply chains and food, health, pharmaceuticals and fertiliser security. In all these areas particularly food security, he explained, there is immense scope for close cooperation.

"India has also signed MoUs on foreign cooperation in the space sector with Egypt and also with the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Sudan."

Sayeed noted that 2023 is especially important for India, as they will be hosting the G20 summit in September under the slogan “One Earth, One Family, One Future.”

Egypt has been invited as a guest country to the summit, he said.

Sayeed also congratulated Egypt for hosting the 27th UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in November 2022, calling the establishment of a loss and damage fund the major achievement of the conference.

To deal with issues related to climate change in a more pragmatic manner, India as G20 president would will closely coordinate with with Egypt and the UAE, as it is hosting COP28 this year, Sayeed said, adding that they are happy to participate in the Middle East Green Initiative launched by Saudi Arabia.

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