India-Egypt: 75th Anniversary of Diplomatic Ties

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    • Recently Egypt released a Postage Stamp celebrating the 75th Anniversary of diplomatic ties with India.

    More about the news

    • Diplomatic relations between Egypt and India were established with Egypt’s recognition of the independence of India on 18 August 1947, just three days after India’s independence.
      • Growing Egypt-India economic and commercial relations contribute to the stability and strength of a rapidly diversifying and deepening bilateral relationship. 

    India-Egypt Relations

    • History: 
      • Ancient times:
        • India’s relations with Egypt began when the trade contacts between the two ancient civilizations grew along the banks of the river Nile and the river Indus.
      • Under Nehru’s leadership:
        • In 1955, Egypt under Gamal Abdel Nasser and India under Jawaharlal Nehru became the founders of the Non-Aligned Movement
        • During the 1956 War, Nehru stood supporting Egypt to the point of threatening to withdraw his country from the British Commonwealth. 
    • Friendship Treaty & bilateral relations:
      • The two nations became even closer in the 1950s and concluded a historic Friendship Treaty in 1955. 
        • During the last couple of years, the traditionally strong bilateral relations enjoyed by the two countries have received an impetus with regular exchange of high-level meetings and contacts between the two sides.
    • Trade & Commerce:
      • Egypt has traditionally been one of India’s most important trading partners in the African continent.
      • The India-Egypt Bilateral Trade Agreement has been in operation since March 1978 and is based on the Most Favoured Nation clause.
      • Major Egyptian exports to India include:
        • Raw cotton, raw and manufactured fertilizers, oil and oil products, organic and non-organic chemicals, leather and iron products.
      • Major imports into Egypt from India are: 
        • Cotton yarn, sesame, coffee, herbs, tobacco and lentils.
        • Mineral fuel; vehicle parts; Ship, boat and floating structure; cuts of boneless bovine frozen meat; and Electrical machinery and parts are also exported from India. 
      • There is a significant Indian presence in almost every field in Egypt. 
    • Technical and Scientific Cooperation:
      • Technical cooperation and assistance have been a major part of the bilateral relationship. 
        • Egyptian candidates visit India under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme (ITEC).
      • In the field of Scientific Cooperation, ICAR and the Agricultural Research Center of the Ministry of Agriculture & Land of Egypt signed a MoU for cooperation in the field of agricultural research in 1998.
    • Cultural Links:
      • The Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC) was set up in Cairo in 1992 
        • It aims to promote cultural cooperation between the two countries, through the implementation of the Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP)
        • The Centre, in addition to popularizing Indian culture through Hindi, Urdu and Yoga classes and the screening of movies, also organizes cultural festivals.
      • ‘India by the Nile’ festival:
        • It is a cultural festival celebrated annually in Egypt
        • It brings the essence of India through classical, contemporary, performing and visual arts, food and popular culture in a language that amalgamates diverse cultural and artistic strands. 
        • The festival is produced by Delhi-based M/S Teamwork Arts and supported by ICCR and the Egyptian Ministry of Culture.
    • The defence partnership:
      • It is being revived with among other developments the visit of the Indian Navy ship to Egypt, a month-long Air Force exercise and the visit of the Egyptian Air Force chief to India in recent months.

    Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)

    • About:
      • It is a forum of 120 countries that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc
      • After the United Nations, it is the largest grouping of states worldwide.
        • The countries of the Non-Aligned Movement represent nearly two-thirds of the United Nations’ members and contain 55% of the world population. 
    • Establishment:
      • In 1961, drawing on the principles agreed at the Bandung Conference of 1955, the Non-Aligned Movement was formally established in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
    •  Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence:
      • Zhou Enlai and Nehru described the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence to be used as a guide for Sino-Indian relations called Panchsheel (five restraints).
      • These principles would later serve as the basis of the Non-Aligned Movement. 
      • The five principles were:
        • Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
        • Mutual non-aggression.
        • Mutual non-interference in domestic affairs.
        • Equality and mutual benefit.
        • Peaceful co-existence.
    • Founders:
      • It was an initiative of Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah, and Indonesian President Sukarno.
    • Accomplishment:
      • The international policy of non-alignment achieved major successes in decolonization, disarmament and opposition to racism and apartheid in South Africa.
      • The movement persisted throughout the entire Cold War.
      • After the cold war:
        • In the years since the Cold War’s end in 1992, it has focused on developing multilateral ties and connections as well as unity among the developing nations of the world.

    Source: ET