Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande with Bangladeshi army personnel

Indian Army Chief General Manoj Pande, on May 15, left on an official visit to Egypt as part of the ongoing military outreach to African nations.

During his stay, he will discuss with concerned civil and military authorities on the scope for further enhancing Indo-Egypt defence relations.

During the visit till May 17, he will be visiting various Egyptian Armed Forces establishments and exchange ideas on issues of mutual interest, sources said.

The Army Chief will interact with the Commander-in-Chief of Egyptian Armed Forces, Minister of Defence & Military Production, and Chief of Staff, Egyptian Armed Forces. He will also engage in extensive discussions with the Chief of the Egyptian Armed Force Operations Authority, the Defence Ministry said here.

The Military relations of India with Egypt are on the rise, which was evident during India’s 74th Republic Day parade, wherein the Egyptian Armed Forces contingent made their first appearance. Moreover, Egyptian President Abdeh Fattah El-Sisi was the Chief Guest for the parade.

Notably, Indian and Egyptian Armies conducted the first-ever joint exercise between the Special Forces named ‘Ex Cyclone-I’ in January this year.

The visit of the Chief of the Armed Staff will further deepen the bilateral relationships between the two Armies. This is expected to work as a catalyst for closer coordination and cooperation between the two countries on a host of strategic issues. Meanwhile, Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Anil Chauhan, is now in the US to take part in an Indo-Pacific security dialogue with top military officers from the `Quad’ countries, UK and others.

The Indo-Pacific dialogue has been organised by the Hoover Institute in California.

He will also interact with US Indo-Pacific commander Admiral John C Aquilino, Japanese Chief of Staff General Yoshihide Yoshida and Australian Defence Chief General Angus J Campbell.

The UK will be represented by a Vice Admiral-rank officer at the conference.

India and Egypt celebrated 75 years of establishment of diplomatic relations this year.

India and Egypt enjoy warm and friendly relations marked by civilisational, cultural and economic linkages and deep-rooted people-to-people ties.

The complex relationship is founded on similar cultural ideals, a desire to promote economic development, cooperation in the domains of defence and security, and agreement on local and international concerns.

Several courses, exercises, ship transits, aircraft transits and defence exhibitions also contribute to defence cooperation between India and Egypt.

India has invited Egypt to participate as a guest country in the G20 meetings during its yearlong presidency of the intergovernmental forum.

The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said last year that the invite reflects the historical ties between the two countries leaderships, Governments and peoples.

The invitation from India consecrates Egypt’s regional and international status and its influential role in major global economic issues, a statement by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said.

The Egyptian Assistant Minister of foreign affairs for international and regional multilateral economic affairs, Ragy el-Etrebi, will be President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s personal representative at the G20 summit.

“Egypt is determined to participate actively and efficiently in the various G20 meetings to boost joint international action on the issues on the group’s agenda, in particular issues of priority to Egypt, Africa and developing countries, such as food, energy, climate, development financing and global economic system reforms.”

This is not the first time that Egypt will participate in G20 meetings. It was also a guest country of the forum during China’s presidency in 2016 and again in 2019 during Japan’s presidency.

“Egypt will greatly benefit from its participation in the G20 meetings during India’s presidency to align its interests with one of the key international organisations that brings together the largest economies in the world,” said Ali al-Hanafi, former Egyptian Deputy Foreign Minister for African Affairs.