Millennium Post

India, Egypt sign 7 pacts after PM holds talks with Morsi

In a bid to deepen ties and strengthen economic bonds, India and Egypt on Tuesday signed seven key pacts including one on cyber security after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi held bilateral talks here.

'President Morsi and I have just concluded extensive and very productive discussions... We agreed that his visit, at an important juncture for Egypt, offers us a great opportunity to renew our relationship and take it to a different level of engagement and cooperation,' Prime Minister Singh said after concluding talks with Morsi here.

Expressing admiration for the courage and sacrifices of the people of Egypt in ushering in a new era of democracy, Singh said India has offered to share its experience as Morsi 'ably leads his nation in building strong institutions and frameworks for democracy, social justice and inclusive economic development'. 'I am convinced that Egypt's successful transition would be an important model for the region and the world,' he said.

On his part, Morsi called Singh a 'noble brother' and said his visit shows that Egypt is keen to cooperate with India.

Morsi came to power after Egypt's first democratic elections last year that were held after the 30-year-old iron-clasp rule of former strongman Hosni Mubarak came to an end in February 2011, following a series of anti-regime protests, known as Arab Spring.

Underlining that India and Egypt have enormous potential for deepening cooperation across the full spectrum of ties, Singh said economic partnership has 'rich possibilities'.

'We agreed that information technology, services, electronics, small and medium enterprises, manufacturing, fertilisers, and renewable energy constitute important areas of cooperation. Egypt's location, as a bridge between Asia and Africa, astrides a major global trade route and together with its skilled human resources makes it an attractive business destination for India, he said.

Both leaders underscored the importance of forging stronger regional and international cooperation between the two countries to address common challenges like climate change, food and energy security and terrorism.

'We agreed to intensify our efforts on issues that affect developing countries, and increase our coordination in various international forums, including the United Nations, G-77 and the Non-Aligned Movement.

'Morsi and I agreed that this provides a solid bedrock on which to build a strong and durable bilateral relationship and international partnership between our two countries,' Singh said.

Morsi expressed his 'deepest gratitude' to India for support to Egypt and said he was keen to combat poverty in his country and further economic growth.While the current bilateral trade stands at about $5.5 billion, Morsi said he would like to see it double in the next 'few' years.
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