PM Modi in Egypt: Diaspora welcome followed by meetings with cabinet ministers and grand mufti

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi reached Egypt yesterday after concluding his state visit to the United States of America. The Egypt trip is also a state visit, at the invitation of President Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil El-Sisi. Modi was welcomed at the Cairo airport with a warm hug by Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly. He later met Indian diaspora groups in Egypt.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Egypt trip includes a visit to the historic Al-Hakim Mosque, restored with the help of India’s Dawoodi Bohra community. Modi met the Bohra community in Cairo during his on-going state visit. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@narendramodi
Modi meets his young fans among the Indian diaspora in Egypt. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@narendramodi

Modi began his maiden state visit to Egypt by holding discussions with Madbouly and top cabinet ministers on deepening trade relations and further strengthening the strategic partnership. This is the first bilateral visit by an Indian prime minister to Egypt in 26 years, and it included a meeting with the Grand Mufti of Egypt Dr Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam.

Modi is welcomed at the Cairo airport with a warm hug by Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@narendramodi
Grand Mufti of Egypt Dr Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam with Prime Minister Modi. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@narendramodi

Today, the Indian prime minister visits Cairo’s historic Al-Hakim Mosque, restored with the help of India’s Dawoodi Bohra community. When Modi met the Bohra community in Cairo, there were delighted faces all around him. The Bohra Muslims in India have originated from the Fatimid dynasty that once reigned in North Africa; they have worked on the mosque restoration for decades.

“I am confident this visit will strengthen India’s ties with Egypt. I look forward to talks with President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and attending other programmes,” Modi tweeted after landing in Cairo. He was accorded a ceremonial welcome and a Guard of Honour right after arrival.

Ceremonial Guard of Honour welcomes Modi in Egypt. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@narendramodi

Modi’s first official engagement was a meeting with the India Unit, a group of high-level ministers constituted by President El-Sisi in March to further enhance the relationship with India. The two leaders had decided to elevate the relationship to the level of strategic partnership during El-Sisi’s visit to India as the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations this year.

President El-Sisi is also scheduled to travel to India in September for the G20 Summit, where Egypt has been invited as a special guest.

Modi arrives for the India Unit meeting, attended by Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and his cabinet colleagues. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@narendramodi

Seven members of the Egyptian Cabinet, led by Madbouly, were present at the India Unit meeting with Modi. Madbouly and his cabinet colleagues outlined the activities that the India Unit has been undertaking, and proposed new areas of cooperation, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

Discussions took place on ways to strengthen co-operation in areas like trade and investment, renewable energy, green hydrogen, infotech, digital payment platforms, pharma, and people-to-people ties, the statement said.

Earlier, the Indian diaspora, dressed up in traditional attire, gathered in large numbers at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Cairo to welcome Modi. Waving the Indian tricolour, members of the Indian community welcomed the prime minister to chants of “Modi, Modi” and “Vande Mataram” when he reached the hotel.

Modi meets the Indian diaspora in Egypt. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@narendramodi
Delighted greeting for the visiting head of state. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@narendramodi

An Egyptian woman, Jena, dressed in a sari, greeted Modi with the popular song ‘Yeh Dosti Hum Nahi Chhodenge’ from the movie Sholay. Impressed by the rendition of the Kishore Kumar-Manna Dey number, the prime minister expressed surprise when Jena said she knew very little Hindi and had never visited India. “Kisi ko pata bhi nahi chalega ki aap Misr ki beti ho ya Hindustan ki beti ho (Nobody will be able to tell whether you are a daughter of Egypt or a daughter of India),” Modi said, paying her a big compliment.

Tricolour welcome for Modi. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@narendramodi
Modi with Nada Adel and Reem Jabak, who are popularising yoga in Egypt. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@narendramodi

His schedule includes a visit the Heliopolis War Cemetery to pay respects to the Indian troops who gave their lives for Egypt during World War I. This memorial was built by the Commonwealth, although it is dedicated to the 3,799 Indian troops who lost their lives in different World War I conflicts in Egypt.

Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India – Writer

The Press Trust of India Ltd., commonly known as PTI, is the largest news agency in India. It is headquartered in New Delhi and is a nonprofit cooperative among more than 500 Indian newspapers. It has over 500 full-time employees as of 1 January 2022, including about 400 journalists.


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