India wakes up to new Egypt, to invite Mors

By Manish Chand, IANS,

New Delhi : India is planning to invite Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and step up business ties with one of the Arab world’s major powers, with which it has had long-standing ties, when a high-profile Indian business delegation heads to post-Mubarak Egypt next month.

More than a year after the so-called Arab Spring, India is also looking to explore new opportunities in post-Gaddafi Libya which is in the process of renovating its society and polity after a messy war last year.

With Egypt trying to reclaim its pre-eminent position in the Arab world, India signalled its desire to build bridges with the Muslim Brotherhood dispensation in Cairo when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Morsi briefly on the sidelines of the NAM summit in Tehran Aug 30.

Official sources told IANS that Manmohan Singh conveyed India’s desire to build further the strong foundations of bilateral ties and explore new areas of cooperation.

The Manmohan-Morsi meeting took place barely days after the Egyptian president made his first overseas visit outside the Middle East to China. Beijing pledged a new $200 million credit and declared its resolve to tighten strategic partnership with Cairo.

India has taken note of the new regime’s focus on Beijing as Morsi asserts himself to distinguish from Hosni Mubarak’s pro-US tilt to craft a new Look East foreign policy which will focus on emerging Asian powers like India and China.

Against this backdrop, India is planning to invite the Egyptian president to India. Dates will be worked out soon, said the sources.


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