Egypt’s President to be Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day


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    • Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi will be the chief guest at Republic Day in January 2023.
      • He will be the first such guest since 2020, as plans for guests in 2021 and 2022 were cancelled due to COVID-19. 

    More about the news 

    • The year 2022 is of particular significance since it marks the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between India and Egypt.
    • Egypt has been invited as a ‘Guest Country’ during India’s Presidency of G-20 in 2022-23. 

    India-Egypt Relations 

    • History:
      • India and Egypt are two of the world’s oldest civilizations which have enjoyed a history of close contact from ancient times.
      • Ashoka’s edicts refer to his relations with Egypt under Ptolemy-II.
      • In modern times, Mahatma Gandhi and Saad Zaghloul shared common goals on the independence of their countries. 
    • Political Relations:
      • India and Egypt share close political understanding based on a long history of contacts and cooperation in bilateral, regional and global issues.
      • Both countries have cooperated closely in multilateral fora and were the founding members of Non-Aligned Movement. 
    • Economic Relations:
      • 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 and the bilateral trade has increased more than five times in the last ten years.
      • Bilateral trade has expanded rapidly in 2021-22, amounting to 7.26 billion registering a 75% increase compared to FY 2020-21. 
        • India’s exports to Egypt during this period amounted to US$ 3.74 billion, registering a 65% increase over the same period in FY 2020-21. 
        • Egypt’s exports to India reached US$ 3.52 billion registering an 86% increase.
      • The top Indian imports from Egypt were Mineral Oil/Petroleum, Fertilizers, Inorganic Chemicals and Cotton and main items of export to Egypt from India were Buffalo Meat, Iron & Steel, Light Vehicles and Cotton Yarn.
      • India is the 3rd largest export market for Egypt, 6th largest trading partner and 7th largest exporter to Egypt. 
    • Defence Relations:
      • Egypt and India enjoy cordial defence relations. There was close cooperation between the Air Forces, with efforts at jointly developing a fighter aircraft in the 1960s.
      • Egypt participated in the Multinational Training Exercise for friendly African countries held at Pune in 2019.
      • The first ever IAF-EAF Joint Tactical Air Exercise, Desert Warrior, was held in 2021.
      • Egypt regularly provides transit facilities to IAF and IN aircraft ferrying to/ from Russia, Europe and the USA.
    • Cultural Relations:
      • The Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC) has been promoting cultural cooperation between the two countries, through regular activities such as Hindi, Urdu and Yoga classes; seminars; film shows; exhibitions and participation in local cultural activities.
      • ‘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. 
    • Indian Community:
      • Currently, the Indian community in Egypt numbers at around 3200, most of whom are concentrated in Cairo. 
      • A majority of the Indians are either employed with Indian companies or are professionals with various multinationals.  

    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 TitoIndian Prime Minister Jawaharlal NehruEgyptian President Gamal Abdel NasserGhanaian 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: TH