India, Egypt sign MoU to further defence cooperation during Rajnath Singh’s visit

Cairo, Sep 20 (PTI) India and Egypt have signed an MoU to further boost bilateral defence cooperation and reached a consensus on enhancing joint exercises, as Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held wide-ranging discussions with his Egyptian counterpart General Mohamed Zaki.

Singh arrived here on Sunday on a three-day visit to the strategically important Arab country.

“Had an excellent meeting with Egypt’s Defence Minister, General Mohamed Zaki in Cairo. We had wide-ranging discussions on several initiatives to further expand bilateral Defence engagements,” Singh tweeted along with some photos of the meeting on Monday.

During the meeting, both sides discussed steps to strengthen defence ties and reached a consensus to enhance the conduct of joint exercises and exchange of personnel for training, especially in the field of counter-insurgency, the Defence Ministry said in a statement after the meeting on Monday.

The two Ministers also agreed to identify proposals for expanding cooperation between the defence industries of India and Egypt in a time-bound manner.

They also exchanged views on regional security and acknowledged the contribution of India and Egypt to peace & stability in the world. Both sides expressed happiness at the intensified defence engagement and exchanges over the last year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the statement said.

Both the ministers agreed to consolidate and focus on enhancing the security and defence aspects of bilateral cooperation.

The signing of the MoU by the two defence ministers on cooperation in the field of defence was a milestone event during the visit, which will pave the way for enhancing defence cooperation across all sectors of mutual interest, the statement said.

“Signing of the MoU on Defence Cooperation adds new impetus and synergy to our relations,” Singh tweeted.

Singh was accorded a ceremonial Guard of Honour at the Ministry of Defence in Cairo, prior to the commencement of bilateral talks.

Singh on Monday also called on Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and the two leaders discussed bilateral military-to-military cooperation, with the latter emphasising that there is a need for both countries to exchange expertise and best practices in countering the threat of terrorism. PTI