In a goodwill gesture, Egypt will release two Indians languishing in its jails for 16 and 22 years respectively under the transfer of sentenced persons agreement between the two countries.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi informed Prime Minister Narendra Modi of this decision during their talks on Thursday, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said. “Sisi, in a goodwill gesture, agreed to the release of two long-term Indian prisoners in Egypt who had been in jail for 16 and 22 years,” said Swarup. In December 2014, India had requested Egypt to release the two as per provisions of the exchange of sentenced prisoners pact.
Sisi also sought closer ties with India in political, economic, security and defence fields. There was a discussion on the situation in the Middle East and the need for counter-terrorism efforts.
PM Modi continued to meet African leaders, who attended the India-Africa summit here, to seek greater cooperation with them.
In his meeting with Angola vice-president Manuel Domingos Vicente, Modi said that Indian firms getting access to diamond mines in the African country would be a mutually beneficial proposition. Ethiopian PM Hailemariam Desalegn, in their bilateral meeting on Thursday, told Modi that Indians should take up farming in his country in a major way. Mali president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta invited Modi to visit Timbuktu — a UNESCO heritage site — that was destroyed by Islamist militants in 2012 but has now risen from the ruins.