India, Egypt emphasises on forging stronger regional, international cooperation

New Delhi, Mar 19 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Tuesday said that he and the visiting Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi underscored the importance of forging stronger regional and international cooperation between our two countries to address common challenges like climate change, food and energy security and terrorism.

In his statement to the media during the state visit of President of Egypt to India, Dr. Singh said: "We agreed to intensify our efforts on issues that affect developing countries, and increase our coordination in various international forums, including the United Nations, G-77 and the Non Aligned Movement."

Dr. Singh, who welcomed President Mohamed Morsi, the first democratically elected President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, on his state visit to India, said 'we deeply appreciate the fact that he has undertaken a state visit to India despite his pressing domestic commitments. This is a reflection of his personal commitment to our relationship'.

"President Morsi and I have just concluded extensive and very productive discussions, marked by the warmth and friendship that characterizes the truly special nature of the relationship between our two countries. We agreed that his visit, at an important juncture for Egypt, offers us a great opportunity to renew our relationship and take it to a different level of engagement and cooperation," he added.

Dr. Singh said that he and the visiting dignitary discussed the historic political transition underway in Egypt following the events of January 2011.

"I expressed our admiration for the courage and sacrifices of the people of Egypt in ushering in a new era of democracy in Egypt. I conveyed our full support to President Morsi and offered to share our experience, as he ably leads his nation in building strong institutions and frameworks for democracy, social justice and inclusive economic development. I am convinced that Egypt's successful transition would be an important model for the region and the world," he added.

Dr. Singh said it has been agreed that India and Egypt have enormous potential for deepening the cooperation across the full spectrum of the relationship.

"Our economic partnership has rich possibilities. We agreed that information technology, services, electronics, small and medium enterprises, manufacturing, fertilizers, and renewable energy constitute important areas of cooperation. Egypt's location, as a bridge between Asia and Africa, astride a major global trade route, together with its skilled human resources, makes it an attractive business destination for India," said Dr. Singh.

"We also agreed to foster productive partnerships in socio-economic development programmes, skill development, higher education, agriculture and health care. We also agreed to enhance our defence exchanges and cooperation," he added.

Dr. Singh said 'the agreements that we have signed today are a clear manifestation of our desire to impart a new dynamism to our relationship'.

Dr. Singh further said that President Morsi and he also exchanged views on a range of regional and international issues.

"We have a shared interest in peace and stability in the Gulf, West Asia and the North African region. I conveyed our steadfast support to the Palestinian cause and expressed our deep appreciation for the role played by Egypt in trying to forge unity between the Palestinian groups and work towards a peaceful resolution of this long standing issue," said Dr. Singh.

"We also discussed the deteriorating situation in Syria and condemned the violence and loss of innocent lives there. We agreed on the urgent need for a peaceful resolution of all issues through dialogue," he added.

Dr. Singh also mentioned the enormous reservoir of goodwill and trust, and the ties of history, culture and religion, which bind the people of India and Egypt.

"President Morsi and I agreed that this provides a solid bedrock on which to build a strong and durable bilateral relationship and international partnership between our two countries," he said. (ANI)

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