India and Egypt work towards building strategic relationship with focus on defence and security

Other News Materials 3 July 2022 13:52 (UTC +04:00)
India and Egypt work towards building strategic relationship with focus on defence and security

India and Egypt are charting out an increasingly strategic bilateral relationship with more focus on defence and security aspects. While New Delhi is looking at Cairo as its next big market for arms exports, Egypt is eager to play a key role in yielding its influence in Asia as a representative of both Africa and the Arab world, Trend reports citing The Print.

India and Egypt are now partnering with each other across all spectrums of their bilateral ties based on a sound historical and traditional relationship. From exporting wheat to Egypt despite a ban on its shipments to greater military-to-military relationship, India is leaving no stone unturned to bring Egypt under its strategic embrace.

A delegation from the Egyptian Air Force will be visiting this month led by their Air Chief Mahmoud Foaad Abd El-Gawad “to scout for India’s defence equipment” as New Delhi eyes more and more markets to export its defence items post the success of sale of Brahmos to the Philippines in January this year, official sources told ThePrint.

India and Egypt are currently holding a major exercise between both the Air Forces touted to be a “unique exercise with Air assets in a Large Force Engagement environment, simulating various conflict scenarios. The exercise is aimed at enhancing defence cooperation between the two countries and exchange of best practices”, according to a statement issued by the Defence Ministry last week.

“In the present geopolitical scenario, this exercise provides a unique opportunity to showcase the reach and capability of the IAF. It will also provide an opportunity to showcase the Su-30 MKI manufactured in India by HAL and our country’s expertise for deeper indigenisation of spares and components,” it said.

Sources also said that encouraged by the Brahmos deal — talks for which are also on with Vietnam — New Delhi is increasingly looking at Egypt for a range of its defence produce as Cairo looks to consistently expand and diversify its military hardware.

With concerns growing about India being unable to source repair and spare parts for its Russian equipment, New Delhi is now relying on Cairo to provide these as Egypt also has robust defence ties with Russia, sources said.

India and Egypt are also closely aligning themselves on the security situation in Afghanistan. External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar met his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly last year to discuss the issue.

Anil Trigunayat, a former Indian envoy to Jordan, Libya, and Malta, told ThePrint that Egypt was looking for more defence items with India but that “they want joint collaborations”.

“Egypt is an important country. It is a unique part of Africa and the Arab world. They have continued to maintain a good relationship with Russia in terms of defence partnership, which is good for India,” he said. “They regard themselves to be a major player. India also wants to collaborate with them on counterterrorism.”