By Ateet Sharma
New Delhi, Sep 20: Egypt said on Monday that it takes pride in the close historical ties it has with India and is keen to deepen military and defence ties.
The aspiration to activate the partnership between the two countries "commensurate with their capabilities in all fields" was expressed by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi when he met visiting Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Cairo on Monday.
The Sisi-Singh meeting was also attended by Egypt's Minister of Defence and Military Production General Mohamed Zaki besides the Indian Ambassador to Cairo Ajit Gupte and other senior officials from both countries.
Presidential spokesman Bassam Radi later said that the meeting discussed ways to enhance military and security cooperation between the two countries, especially with regard to cooperation in joint manufacturing, transfer and localisation of technology, with the aim of exploiting the capabilities and infrastructure available in the two countries, as well as cooperation in the field of training, rehabilitation and joint exercises.
Singh, in particularly, spotlighted Egypt's pivotal and decisive role in combating and conquering the threat of terrorism, which casts a shadow of security and stability over the entire region.
He also expressed India's appreciation for the growth and prosperity of Egyptian-Indian relations, stressing New Delhi's interest in deepening these historical relations in light of the comprehensive development boom that Egypt is witnessing under the leadership of Sisi.
"In this context, India looks forward to exchanging experiences and consolidating the military and security aspect within the framework of joint cooperation relations between the two countries," mentioned the Egyptian spokesperson.
As India continuously grows its capability to manufacture advanced cutting-edge technologies and systems in the defence sector under the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, Egypt is one of the several countries which has maintained its interest in acquiring made-in-India Tejas fighter aircraft for its air force.
The state-of-the-art fourth-generation fighter aircraft could be high on the agenda during Singh's bilateral talks with his Egyptian counterpart General Mohamed Zaki who is also the Minister of Defence Production.
The two ministers will not only review the bilateral defence ties but also explore new initiatives to intensify military-to-military engagements and focus on deepening cooperation between the defence industries of the two countries.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide further impetus to enhanced defence cooperation between India and Egypt will also be signed.
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( 409 Words)