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Egypt, India sign maritime cooperation agreement in New Delhi

The Egyptian president and Indian prime minister called for joint efforts to counter terrorism

Published: Updated:

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, on his second visit to India in a year, held talks with India Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Friday, on bilateral relations including economic and development issues, according to media reports.

India is Egypt’s sixth-largest trading partner and bilateral trade last year touched $4.76 billion.

The two countries also signed a maritime shipping cooperation agreement in the presence of Sisi and Modi.

The Egyptian President is accompanied by government ministers and business leaders, and arrived on Thursday night for a three-day visit.

In New Delhi he also met with US Secretary of State John Kerry. No details of that meeting have been released.

Kerry had delayed his planned departure from the Indian capital on Thursday. The US Embassy said he plans to join President Barack Obama in China for the weekend G-20 summit.

Terror threat

Sisi and Modi also discussed the latest political developments in the Middle East, among them efforts to counter terrorism and agreed to boost tie-ups in security and anti-terror efforts.

The two leaders “considered terrorism to be one of the gravest threats to international peace and security,” a joint statement said.

They said there will be more cooperation between the two countries in defense and in exchanging information that might help in rooting out militants.

The Egyptian president also extended an invitation to Modi to visit Cairo.

Natural bridge

At the joint press conference after the talks, the Indian premier said that Egypt was a natural bridge linking Asia and Africa.

Modi also said that India was ready to be a trusted partner to Egypt in achieving its developmental, economic and security goals.

Sisi said that Egypt was eager to cooperate with India in all fields, especially on the governmental and public levels.

The Egyptian leader said at the news conference that the two countries are “required” to bolster relations “due to the sizable threats and common challenges as we face, starting from the dangers of terror and extremism that entails concerted efforts at all levels, to issues of climate change and sustainable energy sources for future generation.”