New Delhi: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Thursday conveyed to India that he wants to take anti-terror cooperation between the two countries to a "whole new level" and pitched for "strong collective action" against radicalisation.
President al-Sisi, who arrived in new Delhi on Thursday on a three-day visit, said this when External Affairs Minister called on him. The Egyptian President and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold wide-ranging talks on Friday with an aim to further expand the bilateral ties.
At the meeting, Swaraj told Sisi that his visit provided an opportunity to upgrade security ties and anti-terror cooperation between the two countries. In this context she mentioned the need for early finalisation of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) at the UN. President Sisi concurred, and said that he wanted to take anti-terror cooperation to a whole new level. In particular, he urged strong collective action against radicalisation and recruitment for terrorism, official sources said.
Talking about Egypt's ties with India, the visiting President remained "very resilient" and conveyed to Swaraj that his visit will lead to a "quantum leap in bilateral ties".
He recalled his previous meetings with Modi and expressed his desire to take the bilateral relationship to a new level. Al-Sisi spoke about his government's efforts to upgrade infrastructure and said Egypt was keen on working in partnership with all "those who want to work with us". The sources said he "positively assessed" the role of Indian investment in Egypt which had touched USD 3 billion and sought greater trade and investment ties with India. He also expressed appreciation for India's recent supply of 20,000 tonnes of rice, at very short notice, when Egypt was facing shortage of the commodity.
Swaraj said bilateral trade was still below potential and outlined some of the far reaching economic reforms and flagship initiatives taken by the government. She said, apart from rice, Egypt could import wheat and milk, in both of which India was a world leader. The two leaders also discussed cooperation in tourism and enhancing people-to-people ties.
Swaraj recalled how the "India by the Nile" and Tagore Festival in Egypt had seen large-scale participation by the people of Egypt. President al-Sisi recalled the popularity of Indian films in Egypt.