India and Egypt have agreed to identify proposals for expanding association between the defence industries of the two countries in a time-bound manner after signing an MoU on defence cooperation. The consensus emerged during Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's visit to Cairo where he held bilateral talks with his Egyptian counterpart, General Mohamed Zaki on Monday.

During the meeting, both sides discussed steps to strengthen defence ties and reached a consensus to enhance joint exercises and exchange of personnel for training, especially in the field of counter-insurgency, said the defence ministry in an official statement. “Signing of MoU by the two Defence Ministers was a milestone event during the visit, which will pave the way for enhancing defence cooperation across all sectors of mutual interest,” commented the ministry.

Traditional ties

They also exchanged views on regional security and acknowledged the contribution of India and Egypt to peace and stability in the world. The two nations are willing to upscale the defence ties, much like the traditionally enhanced trade engagements that New Delhi and Cairo have enjoyed over the years. The defence minister also witnessed the Helwan 300 fighter jet which was a Joint Development project between India and Egypt.

Singh also invited his Egyptian counterpart to the India-Africa Defence Dialogue and Indian Ocean Region Defence Ministers’ Conclave, scheduled to be held as part of 12th DefExpo in Gandhinagar, Gujarat between October 18-22, 2022. Both sides expressed happiness at the intensified defence engagement and exchanges over the last year, despite the pandemic.

Egypt is strategically important to India since it’s considered as the gateway to Africa