Home International Relations India and Egypt Forge Stronger Ties as President Sisi Secures Third Term

India and Egypt Forge Stronger Ties as President Sisi Secures Third Term

India and Egypt, two ancient civilizations with a rich history of collaboration, are poised to strengthen their diplomatic ties as President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi secures a third term in the recent Egyptian presidential election. The historical connection between India and Egypt dates back to ancient times, with Ashoka’s edicts referencing relations with Egypt under Ptolemy II. In the modern era, Mahatma Gandhi and Saad Zaghloul laid the groundwork for a strong relationship, which flourished into an exceptionally close friendship between President Nasser and Prime Minister Nehru. This camaraderie led to the establishment of a Friendship Treaty in 1955, setting the stage for continued cooperation on various fronts. The bilateral relations between India and Egypt are characterized by a deep political understanding based on a long history of contacts and cooperation in bilateral, regional, and global issues. The announcement of the establishment of diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level on August 18, 1947, marked a pivotal moment in the history of these two nations. They have also cooperated closely in multilateral forums and were founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement. The year 2022 celebrated the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between India and Egypt.

In a recent election, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi secured a remarkable 89.6% of the vote, ushering in his third term as Egypt’s president. The election took place amid a slow-burning economic crisis and the challenge of managing the risk of spillover from the conflict adjacent to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Despite concerns about the electoral process, with some expressing indifference due to the perceived inevitability of the outcome, Sisi framed the vote as a rejection of the “inhumane war” in neighbouring Gaza.

President Sisi’s visit to India, which took place from January 24-26, 2023, at the invitation of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, held significant diplomatic importance. This visit marked President Sisi’s second state visit to India, where he was also the chief guest at India’s 74th Republic Day celebration. A high-level delegation, including five ministers and senior officials, accompanied President Sisi, reflecting the importance both nations place on strengthening their ties. This visit was a momentous occasion, as it coincided with the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between India and Egypt. President Sisi had previously visited India in 2015 and 2016, but this marks the first time he has been invited as the Chief Guest for India’s Republic Day. A military contingent from the Egyptian Army also participated in the Republic Day parade, symbolizing the growing defence cooperation between the two nations.

India had also extended an invitation to Egypt as a ‘Guest Country’ during its Presidency of the G-20 in 2022–23, further emphasizing the importance placed on Egypt’s role in international affairs. During President Sisi’s visit, he received a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan and a state banquet was hosted in his honor. The leaders engaged in bilateral meetings and delegation-level talks on various issues of mutual interest.

The multifaceted relationship between India and Egypt extends beyond politics and diplomacy to encompass civilizational, cultural, and economic linkages. The bilateral trade between the two nations achieved a record high of USD 7.26 billion in the fiscal year 2021–22, reflecting robust economic ties. Over 50 Indian companies have invested around USD 3.15 billion in diverse sectors of the Egyptian economy, further solidifying the economic partnership.

As the visit of President Sisi gets re-elected for the third time, both nations anticipate that it will further strengthen and deepen their time-tested partnership. The interactions scheduled during the visit, including engagements with the Indian business community, are expected to open new avenues for collaboration. India and Egypt are set to reinforce their commitment to shared cultural values, economic growth, and collaboration on defence, security, and regional and global issues, marking a new chapter in their enduring relationship.