Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrapped up his visit to the United States and embarked on a significant two-day journey to Egypt. This visit holds immense significance as it signifies the first time an Indian Prime Minister has visited Egypt in 26 years.
PM Modi’s visit to Egypt is particularly special as it was extended as a “State visit” following an invitation from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi during India’s Republic Day celebrations earlier this year, where PM Modi was honoured as the distinguished “Chief Guest.” This visit marks a momentous occasion, being the first bilateral visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Egypt in 26 years since 1997.
During his stay in Egypt, PM Modi engaged in bilateral talks with Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and President El-Sisi on Sunday. As part of his itinerary, he dedicated nearly half an hour to visiting the Al-Hakim Mosque, a historic and renowned mosque in Cairo named after the 16th Fatimid caliph, Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah (985-1021). Additionally, PM Modi paid homage to the courageous Indian soldiers who fought for Egypt during the First World War by visiting the Heliopolis War Grave cemetery.
A significant highlight of PM Modi’s tour in Egypt was his meeting with the esteemed Grand Mufti of Egypt, Dr Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam. Their discussions focused on further strengthening the cultural and people-to-people relations between India and Egypt. PM Modi expressed his unwavering commitment to fostering closer ties between the two nations.
Upon his arrival at Cairo International Airport, PM Modi was warmly embraced by Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, symbolizing the special honour bestowed upon him. The Indian community in Cairo also extended a heartfelt welcome to PM Modi as he arrived at the hotel, waving Indian flags and cheering with chants of “Modi Modi.”
The enthusiasm of the Indian diaspora was palpable as they gathered at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Cairo to greet PM Modi. The crowd demonstrated their love and admiration by singing Indian songs, including the popular Hindi track “Yeh dosti hum nahi tongue” from the Bollywood movie ‘Sholay.’ PM Modi attentively listened to the music, expressing his appreciation with an enthusiastic “Waah!” followed by applause from the crowd. Children were also present at the gathering, and PM Modi personally greeted and interacted with members of the Indian community, further solidifying the bond between the Indian diaspora and their motherland.
PM Modi’s visit to Egypt exemplified the shared cultural heritage and the aspiration to deepen the ties between the two nations. The warm welcome and enthusiastic reception from both Egyptian leaders and the Indian community underscored the strong bond of friendship and cooperation between India and Egypt.