India and Egypt will review the entire spectrum of their bilateral ties, including defence and trade, during talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi here next week.

Sisi is the Chief Guest for this year’s Republic Day celebrations. It is the first time an Egyptian head of State is invited as the Chief Guest for the parade.

Giving details about his visit from January 24 to 26, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said here on Saturday the Egyptian President will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including five Ministers and senior officials. Defence and security co-operation is expected to be a major focus area in the discussions.

Both sides are expected to ink more than six or seven pacts, including trade agriculture, cyberspace and information technology (IT) following the talks between Modi and Sisi on January 25.

Egypt has shown interest in procuring the Indian designed and manufactured TEJAS light combat aircraft (LCA) and Dhruv light helicopter and Akash surface to air missile.

The MEA said Sisi will be accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on January 25 and President Droupadi Murmu will host a State banquet in his honour the same evening. “President Sisi will have a bilateral meeting and delegation-level talks with the PM on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest,” the Ministry said.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will also call on Sisi.

“The forthcoming visit of President Sisi is expected to further strengthen and deepen the time-tested partnership between India and Egypt,” the MEA said.

The Egyptian president previously visited India in October 2015 to participate in the third India-Africa Forum Summit, which was followed by his State visit in September 2016.

India is keen on further expanding its ties with Egypt, a key player in the politics of both the Arab world as well as Africa. It is also seen as a major gateway to markets in Africa and Europe.

The MEA said the multifaceted relationship between the two countries is based on shared cultural values, commitment to foster economic growth, collaboration in the fields of defence and security and convergence on regional and global issues.

It said the two countries work closely at multilateral and international platforms. The bilateral trade has also been on an upswing in the last few years. Trade between India and Egypt achieved a “record high” of USD 7.26 billion in 2021-22, according to the MEA.

“The trade was fairly balanced, with USD 3.74 billion Indian exports to Egypt and USD 3.52 billion imports from Egypt to India,” it said. More than 50 Indian companies have invested around USD 3.15 billion in diverse sectors of the Egyptian economy, including chemicals, energy, textile, garment, agri-business and retail.

Sisi will be the first Egyptian and the fifth West Asian leader to be Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations. The invitation to the 68-year-old general-turned-politician is part of India’s efforts to reset ties with Egypt, seen as a key gateway to markets in Africa and Europe.

As regards defence ties, the two sides have also enhanced training, joint exercises and ship visits, and a memorandum of understanding on cooperation was signed during defence minister Rajnath Singh’s recent visit to Cairo. Egypt has also invited India to its Bright Star tri-services exercise in September.