India, Egypt Realignment

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by ejazr, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Messages:
    4,518
    Likes Received:
    1,378
    Location:
    Hyderabad and Sydney
    A possible re-alignment of Egypt along the lines of Nasser-Nehru era would be a strategic boost for India in the WANA region, particularly with respect to Chinese influence in Africa. India has an advantage that it can build on the existing good will and leapfrog China in this region.

    The Hindu : News / National : India, Egypt pledge to build afresh

    India's attempt to relay the foundations of its ties with Egypt has received an enthusiastic response, with the leadership of that country airing its ambition of establishing a soaring relationship with a strong strategic content.

    At a press conference on Sunday, visiting External Affairs Minister, S.M. Krishna, disclosed that during his meeting with Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), the latter was emphatic that India-Egypt relations should recover some of the lost flavour of the heady Nasser-Nehru era, in tune with the demands of modern times.

    But Mr. Krishna's visit – the first high-level exchange after the exit of the former Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak – was hardly an exercise in nostalgia. On the contrary, looking towards the future, both sides, steering clear of sticky ideological issues, gave a technocratic slant to the relationship during its rebuilding stage.

    Mr. Krishna said the two countries had identified Information Technology as a thrust area for joint forays. In the coming days and weeks, officials working through diplomatic channels, will come out with details and a road map for concretising cooperation. Both countries signed documents on Sunday to work together in agriculture, culture and environmental protection.

    On the political track, India has decided to fully engage with the Muslim Brotherhood, which has emerged as a dominant force after the country's recent parliamentary elections. In his last meeting of the day, Mr. Krishna met Mohammed Morsy, chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), electoral face of the Brotherhood.

    Leading figures of the Brotherhood told officials of Mr. Krishna's delegation that they would want to impart “greater balance” in choosing their friends and allies, and not have a foreign policy that had the relationship with the U.S. as its anchor.

    Apart from India, Egypt would be keen to build a strong relationship with China as well as with its African neighbours. Egypt's relationship with the Gulf countries would remain strong especially because of the presence of nearly 2.5 million Egyptian workers there.

    But that would not veto a constructive, if not conscious engagement, with Iran.

    According to an Egyptian diplomat, the bureaucracy has continued to function despite a year of political turmoil caused by the anti-Mubarak uprising. But India might have to await a change of personnel, as officials from the Mubarak era fade out and the bureaucracy acquires a new complexion, reflective of the recent political changes, before interaction can commence in full swing.

    During his call on Egyptian Prime Minister Kamal El Ganzoury, the latter called for expansion of trade with India, which stood at a modest $3 billion. Mr. Krishna invited Kamel Amr, his Egyptian counterpart, to India to keep up the tempo of the relationship, which might acquire greater momentum after Egypt concludes its presidential elections in May.
     
  2.  
  3. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Messages:
    4,518
    Likes Received:
    1,378
    Location:
    Hyderabad and Sydney
    Krishna in Egypt, meets Muslim Brotherhood leader

    Cairo: External Affairs Minister SM Krishna on Sunday met the Egyptian leadership and established first contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood that is set to dominate the post-Mubarak political landscape of the country.

    On a three-day visit to Egypt, the first by a senior Indian leader after last year's revolution, Krishna met the head of current military-led government, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Prime Minister Kamal Al Ganzhoury as well as his counterpart Mohamed Kamel Amr.

    Krishna thanked Tantawi for the "extraordinary cooperation" extended by Egypt in evacuating more than 3,000 Indians from eastern Libya last year, and the protection extended to major Indian investment projects during the unrest.

    However, the most significant meeting was with Mohamed Morsy, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood's political arm the Freedom and Justice Party, that has emerged as the largest force in the first post-Mubarak Egyptian parliament.

    With the Brotherhood appearing set to dominate the political landscape of Egypt, Krishna's meeting with its political wing's leader can be seen as part of efforts to achieve a smooth transition in ties with the new dispensation in the country.

    While India had fair ties with the Mubarak-era regime, the meeting with Morsy would help Krishna understand the expectations of the Islamists-led new political regime that is now expected to hold sway over the country's policies.

    On his part, Morsy told Krishna that India is "a very important friend" of Egypt and "can play a major role in the future".

    "Egypt is facing major economic crisis and India should help the Egyptian people," he told Krishna when he called on him. The Freedom and Justice Party emerged as the largest party winning 235 of the 498 seats in the Egyptian parliament in what many term the first free and fair election in the country.

    Prime Minister Al Ganzoury said Egypt was keen to enhance trade cooperation with India.

    Krishna and his counterpart also signed several agreements, including an MoU on cooperation in the field of environment protection, cultural exchange programme for the next three years and a work plan for agricultural cooperation.

    An MoU was also inked between Egyptian Organisation for Standardisation and Bureau of Indian Standards after the two foreign ministers chaired the sixth session of Egypt-India Joint Commission Meeting.

    "We reviewed the entire gamut of our bilateral relations during the just concluded Joint Commission Meeting... India has always viewed Egypt as a stabilising factor in the region and in the world," Krishna told the media at a joint press conference.

    He said the two ministers accepted recommendations of four sub-committees on Trade & Economic Co-operation, Scientific & Technical Co-operation, Cultural Co-operation and Information Technology on strengthening bilateral relations in these sectors.

    "India-Egypt relations are over five millennium years old.

    Egypt has consistently played a vital role in the Non Aligned Movement and championed the cause of the developing world.

    "Our bilateral relations constitute a factor of peace and stability in international relations," said Krishna after signing of agreements between India and Egypt. He said he welcomed the Egyptian prime minister's proposal that a multisectoral Indian delegation with representatives from both private and public sectors visit Egypt to focus on concrete areas of economic cooperation.

    "(I have) requested the Egyptian side to identify specific sectors of their interest so that we can take the proposal forward," Krishna said.

    During his visit here, Krishna also met Arab League Secretary General Nabil El Araby.

    "Arab world and India share civilisational links, common cultural values and political beliefs and enjoy strong economic ties. With these activities, we propose to strengthen India-Arab cooperation further," Krishna said.

    He said Indian investment of USD 2.5 billion is generating employment for 30,000 Egyptians, and pointed out that none of the Indian companies who had invested in Egypt have left the country after the Revolution.

    "In fact, one more Indian factory has been established in Ain Sukhna," he said.

    PTI
     
  4. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Messages:
    4,518
    Likes Received:
    1,378
    Location:
    Hyderabad and Sydney
    MEA - Excerpts of Media Statement by External Affairs Minister at the Joint Press Conference following the 6th India-Egypt Joint Commission Meeting

    Your Excellency Mr. Mohamed Kamel Amr, Foreign Minister of Egypt

    Distinguished representatives of Media,

    I am delighted to be here in Cairo; this is my first visit to Egypt. Since my arrival, I have had the opportunity to meet His Excellency Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Chairman, Supreme Council of Armed Forces and His Excellency Dr. Kamal El Ganzoury, Prime Minister.

    I have just concluded very useful and productive discussions with Foreign Minister Kamel Amr and co-chaired with him the sixth session of Egypt-India Joint Commission Meeting.

    We reviewed the entire gamut of our bilateral relations during the just concluded Joint Commission Meeting. Foreign Minister Kamel Amr and I accepted the recommendations of four sub-committees on Trade & Economic Co-operation, Scientific & Technical Co-operation, Cultural Co-operation and Information Technology on strengthening bilateral relations in these sectors.

    We also signed four documents including an MoU on Cooperation in the field of Environment Protection, Cultural Exchange Programme for the years 2012-15, Work Plan for Agricultural Cooperation between Indian Council of Agricultural Research and Agricultural Research Centre of Egypt for the year 2012-13 and a MoU between Egyptian Organisation for Standardisation and Bureau of Indian Standards.

    Yesterday, Egyptian Minister of Culture and I unveiled a portrait of Rabindranath Tagore, renowned litterateur and the first Asian to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, at the House of Poetry. I was very happy to know that Tagore is the first non-Arab poet whose portrait has been installed at the House of Poetry.

    This morning the Prime Minister of Egypt suggested that a multisectoral Indian delegation with representatives from both private and public sectors visit Egypt to focus on concrete areas of economic cooperation. I have welcomed this proposal and requested the Egyptian side to identify specific sectors of their interest so that we can take the proposal forward. We hope that this delegation will visit Egypt shortly for focussed and productive discussions.

    I also met His Excellency Dr. Nabil El Araby Secretary General of League of Arab States. India and Arab League has been holding regular political consultations since the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation in 2008. The first meeting of the High Level Joint Committee of Arab-India Cooperation Forum was held in Cairo last week.

    India has a robust cooperation arrangement with Arab countries and particularly with Arab League. Arab world and India share civilisational links, common cultural values and political beliefs and enjoy strong economic ties. With these activities, we propose to strengthen India-Arab cooperation further.

    India-Egypt relations are over five millennium years old. In modern times, our relations were soundly founded on shared ideology and common beliefs. India has always viewed Egypt as a stabilising factor in the region and in the world. Egypt has consistently played a vital role in the Non-Aligned Movement and championed the cause of the developing world. Our bilateral relations constitute a factor of peace and stability in international relations.

    The leaderships of our two countries maintain close contact through regular Ministerial visits and exchanges at the highest level. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s visit in 2009 for the NAM summit was followed by visits of a number of Ministerial delegations to Egypt. Our bilateral trade of 3 billion US Dollars last year is promising to grow in the coming years. Indian investment of 2.5 billion dollars is generating employment for 30,000 Egyptians. None of the Indian companies who had invested in Egypt have left the country after the Revolution. In fact, one more Indian factory has been established in Ain Sukhna.

    I thanked Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr for the warm hospitality extended to me and my delegation. I also take this opportunity to wish Egypt success in all its endeavours.

    Thank you.

    Cairo
    March 4, 2012
     
  5. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Messages:
    4,518
    Likes Received:
    1,378
    Location:
    Hyderabad and Sydney
    The Hindu : News / National : India begins rebooting ties with Egypt

    Krishna takes the lead in establishing robust relations with Egypt

    India has started rebooting its ties with Egypt, which is stirring out of the Mubarak-era dormancy and is looking for new friends and allies to realise its goal of becoming an independent regional heavyweight.

    External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna is leading this effort at exploring the possibility of establishing a robust relationship with Egypt. The context of his visit is significant. India and Egypt were once “soulmates” in the international arena during the presidency of the late Gamal Abdel Nasser, but their relations hit a dramatic low after Anwar Sadat came to power. The distancing was natural during the Cold War: both countries were on the opposite side of the ideological fence — Egypt moved closer to the U.S. and India bonded ever more closely with the Soviet Union.

    But with the fall of President Hosni Mubarak and Egypt emerging as a democracy — though, possibly with Islamist characteristics since the Muslim Brotherhood did so well in the recent parliamentary elections — a fresh opportunity has arisen to revive the ties and take them along on an exciting and unchartered path.

    “We want to impart new balance to our foreign policy and we are paying the utmost importance to the Brazil-Russia-India-China grouping,” an Egyptian diplomat said, wishing not to be named.

    With the Muslim Brotherhood making dramatic gains, Egypt wants to realise its rightful place, especially in the Sunni Muslim universe, analysts say. That means raising the religious and intellectual status of the more than a 1,000-year-old Al Azhar University, so that its global standing and the weight of its pronouncements grow higher.

    It is likely that as Egypt — fiercely independent and with a self-belief in leadership — develops its unique blend of democracy and religion, its Islamist modernisers may find themselves competing for intellectual and political space with countries such as Turkey, which is equally ambitious to exercise leadership in the region, and Saudi Arabia.

    Paradoxically, some members of the Muslim Brotherhood do not anticipate a particularly rough ride in Egypt's ties with Iran, whose Shia Muslim leadership has largely been uncontested so far.

    It is significant that during his stay, Mr. Krishna will hold a separate meeting with Mohamed Morsy, leader of the Freedom and Justice Party, which is the electoral face of the Muslim Brotherhood. That will give the Minister a “feel” of the thinking among the Brotherhood's leaders, most of whom are highly educated, and, within their ranks, have a rich bouquet of technocrats and entrepreneurs.

    The Muslim Brothers are bound to play a major role in drafting a new constitution as well as in the presidential elections, which will be held in mid-May. They are also likely to bridge ties between the radical Salafis and young liberals, who had been out in full strength at the Tahrir Square during the anti-Mubarak uprising, but did poorly in the elections.

    As India and Egypt begin to re-engage, they are starting with bonding in the economic arena. During Mr. Krishna's stay, Indian and Egyptian technocrats, under the umbrella of a joint commission, will meet to explore opportunities in information technology, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, energy, science and technology as well as trade and commerce. “We are eventually aiming to enter into strategic areas which will be of mutual advantage to both countries,” said a diplomatic source.

    More pointed discussions that could give a fresh political direction to the relationship are expected during Mr. Krishna's talks on Sunday with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which gives the nation its interim leadership. At the United Nations Security Council, India recently voted controversially on Syria with the Arab countries and the western powers. Mr. Krishna and Nabil ElAraby, head of the Arab League, are expected to discuss the volatile situation in the region on Saturday.
     

Share This Page