New Delhi: The visit of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to India will be a golden opportunity to forge a new kind of partnership between Egypt and India economically, politically, bilaterally and internationally, said Wael Mohamed Awad Hamed, Egyptian envoy to India, in an interview with ANI here.

For the first time, a leader from Egypt will be the chief guest at India's Republic day, this year. Calling the visit 'historic', the envoy added that Egypt and India can see eye to eye on several key global issues.

"This is going to be the first time for an Egyptian president to be received as the Chief Guest in India for the Republic Day, and I think this is a golden opportunity, a truly historic moment for both countries, even at the heyday of relations between Egypt and India in the 1960s and the 1950s at the time of Prime Minister Nehru and President Nasser," he said

"So I truly think that this is a golden opportunity to forge a new kind of partnership between Egypt and India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Sisi that even surpasses the heyday in the 1950s and the 1960s based on many common elements and pillars of understanding between both countries. Bilaterally we have a growing relationship when it comes to trade, when it comes to investment, these are growing by the day and they will reach new potentials over the coming years", the Egyptian envoy added.

Stressing the defence and security cooperation between the two countries, the envoy said that both countries are in constant contact between the Egyptian armed forces and the Indian armed forces in the ministries of Defense and that they are in continuous discussions to find new areas of cooperation.

"You know that last September Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was in Egypt and held bilateral talks with his counterpart from the Egyptian side, as well as with the president of Egypt. And as we are speaking now, the joint exercises for Special Forces taking place here in India. So, the relationship is going day by day and we have a joint working group on defence issues that is going to be held very soon", said the envoy.

Earlier during a Panel discussion on India - Egypt ties in changing global order, the envoy said that "India is a major country in the Indian Ocean and the security of the Indian oceans starts with the security of the Red sea in the West and for Egypt on the Suez Canal. The security of the Suez Canal starts with the Indian Ocean as well. So, we are both linked together in the area of security, it is very important for both countries to come together and discuss".

On the wheat export ban, the envoy said that he completely understands India's position on the ban hoping the ban to be lifted soon.

"When it comes to the issue of wheat, we do hope that India will soon lift the ban that is imposed on the export of wheat. We do understand the reasons why this ban was put in the first place because of the weather conditions that we have seen in the year 2022. But we do hope that this is going to be lifted sometime soon so that India can resume its exports of wheat to Egypt", said the envoy.

Highlighting the importance of food security, the envoy said that Egypt would be interested in playing a constructive role in Securing food security in India.

"Egypt will be very much interested in playing a constructive role in securing food Security in India by exporting fertilizers as well, so because together production and fertilizer are very important for both countries. So I think this is an important issue that will be discussed during the visit", he added.

On India's stance in the Russia - Ukraine crisis, the envoy said that he has been 'personally watching India's position and 'that there is a lot to be discussed between Egypt and India'.

Underlining further the strategic location of Egypt and investments in the country, they enjoy saying that from Egypt, you can tap into a market of also 1.3 billion people and it provides a wonderful opportunity for Indian investors and Indian companies to invest in Egypt.

"Egypt is a very strategic location and it is not as opposed to the population size of 100 million, which is small relative to the size of the domestic Market in India. But you can tap into a market of also 1.3 billion people from Egypt. These are the people of the European Union with which we have a free trade agreement, the people of the Middle East with which we also have a free trade agreement and the people of the African continent, with which you have a free trade agreement. So even though Egypt is relative to India as a small domestic market of 100 million, but it is a springboard to a market of more than 1.3 billion people", said the envoy.

"It provides a wonderful opportunity for Indian investors and Indian companies, who want to establish in Egypt and we welcome them to come to Egypt, anytime, especially to be located in the area of the Suez Canal Economic Zone", he added.

Talking further about India's G20 Presidency which Egypt has been invited as a Guest country, the envoy said that there are many global issues that Egypt and India look eye to eye and will jointly address.

"Egypt and India will put their hands together to express the voice of the Global south because the challenges that we are facing are known to everybody and Egypt and India are developing countries, so we see eye to eye on many issues that are going to be discussed in the G20 like climate change, finance, debt burden, the importance of developing countries, job creation... All these issues that bring Egypt and India bring together are going will be expressed" said the envoy.