India and Egypt signed five accords, including an extradition treaty, on Tuesday.
The two sides agreed to the establishment of a strategic dialogue at the level of the foreign ministers “to revitalise the current mechanism for regular political consultations on bilateral, regional and international issues. They also agreed to institute a security policy dialogue at the relevant level,” a joint declaration stated.
Besides an extradition treaty other agreements signed included one on abolition of visa requirement for holders of diplomatic, special and official passports; a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the field of health and medicine; an MoU on cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes; and another MoU on trade and technical cooperation.
Calling Hosni Mubarak — whose trip marks the first presidential visit from Egypt to India in 25 years — a great statesman, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said talks between them were extremely productive. “This visit has opened a new chapter in our relations. We have agreed to make up for lost time and elevate our relations to a level that reflects our mutual strengths and complementarities,” Singh said.
Our bilateral trade, the PM said it has increased four-fold in the last five years and now exceeds $3 billion. “But this is still below potential,” he added. “The two countries will cooperate closely in the field of technology, in particular information and communications, agriculture, biotechnology and non-conventional energy technologies,” the declaration
Singh conveyed to Mubarak India’s consistent support to the Palestinian cause. “India reiterated its support for the Arab Peace Plan. The two leaders called for an end to the expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine and for an early and significant easing of restrictions on the free movement of persons and goods within Palestine,” the declaration stated.
“We have agreed to work together to combat terrorism and signed an extradition treaty,” the PM said.
“We underscored the need for concerted, collective action against terrorism,” the Egyptian President said.