External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday congratulated the people of Egypt on their National Day and exuded confidence in the “long-standing partnership” between the nations. The year 2022 is of particular significance since it marks the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between India and Egypt.
In a Tweet, Jaishankar wrote, “Greetings and best wishes to Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and the Government and people of Egypt on their National Day. Our long-standing partnership continues to grow.” India and Egypt, two of the world’s oldest civilizations, have enjoyed a history of close contact from ancient times. Both countries share a close political understanding based on a long history of contact and cooperation in bilateral, regional, and global issues.
Greetings and best wishes to FM Sameh Shoukry and the Government and people of Egypt on their National Day.
Our long-standing partnership continues to grow.
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) July 23, 2022
The joint announcement of the establishment of diplomatic relations at the Ambassadorial level was made on August 18, 1947. Both countries have cooperated closely in multilateral fora and were the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement. During 2015 to 2019, a number of Ministerial and official visits took place from India to Egypt and vice-versa.
Egypt has traditionally been one of India’s most important trading partners in the African continent. The India-Egypt Bilateral Trade Agreement has been in operation since March 1978 and is based on the Most Favoured Nation clause and the bilateral trade has increased more than five times in the last ten years. During this period of 2021-22, the top Indian imports from Egypt were Mineral Oil/Petroleum, Fertilizers, Inorganic Chemicals, and Cotton and the main items of export to Egypt from India were Buffalo Meat, Iron & Steel, Light Vehicles, and Cotton Yarn.
Russia-Ukraine conflict has threatened Egypt with a shortage of wheat, 80 percent of which is imported from Russia and Ukraine. On 14 April 2022, the Egyptian Cabinet announced the inclusion of India in the list of accredited countries which can supply wheat to Egypt, thus ending a long pending Non-Tariff Barrier. Bilateral mechanisms are in place to facilitate trade and economic relations between India and Egypt. The Mission also assists in organizing various fora for commercial collaboration. Since 2020, due to the pandemic, most of the events and meetings have been held virtually.
On May 9, 2021, Egypt dispatched three planes with medical supplies to India that included 300 oxygen cylinders, 50 oxygen concentrators, 20 ventilators, 8000 vials of Remdesivir & other medical equipment. Egypt and India also enjoy cordial defense relations. There was close cooperation between the Air Forces, with efforts at jointly developing a fighter aircraft in the 1960s. IAF pilots had also trained Egyptian pilots from the 1960s until 1984. In the recent past, since 2015, there have been several high-level exchanges of visits by defense delegations.