CAIRO: External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna met top Egyptian leaders including Supreme Council of Armed Forces chairman Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, and Prime Minister Kamal El Ganzoury during his trip here, the first high-profile visit from India in the aftermath of the Arab Spring that toppled the country's longstanding ruler Hosni Mubarak.
Krishna had a series of high-level meetings during his visit and co-chaired the sixth session of Egypt-India Joint Commission Meeting with his Egyptial counterpart Mohamed Kamel Amr.
Krishna and Amr reviewed the bilateral relations and accepted recommendations of sub-committees on trade and economic co-operation, scientific and technical cooperation, cultural cooperation and information technology.
According to a statement issued Sunday in Cairo by Krishna following the joint commission meeting, the two countries signed four documents.
These include an MoU on cooperation in the field of environment protection, work plan for cooperation between Indian Council of Agricultural Research and Agricultural Research Centre of Egypt for 2012-13. They also signed a MoU between Egyptian Organisation for Standardisation and Bureau of Indian Standards.
Krishna said that the Egyptian prime minister had suggested that a multisectoral Indian delegation with representatives from both private and public sectors visit the country to focus on concrete areas of economic cooperation.
"I have welcomed this proposal and requested the Egyptian side to identify specific sectors of their interest so that we can take the proposal forward. We hope that this delegation will visit Egypt shortly for focussed and productive discussion," the statement said.
Krishna also met Nabil El Araby, secretary general of League of Arab States during his three-day visit to the influential north African country.
The first meeting of the high level Joint Committee of Arab-India Cooperation Forum was held in Cairo last week.
The statement said that India has a robust cooperation arrangement with Arab countries and particularly with Arab League.
"Arab world and India share civilisational links, common cultural values and political beliefs and enjoy strong economic ties. With these activities, we propose to strengthen India-Arab cooperation further."
It said Indo-Egypt relations were over five millennium old and, in the modern times, had been founded on shared ideology and common beliefs.
"India has always viewed Egypt as a stabilising factor in the region and in the world. Egypt has consistently played a vital role in the Non-Aligned Movement and championed the cause of the developing world. Our bilateral relations constitute a factor of peace and stability in international relations," the statement said.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had visited Egypt in 2009 for the NAM summit. India's bilateral trade with Egypt was $3 billion last year and India's investment of $2.5 billion was generating employment for 30,000 Egyptians.
The statement said none of the Indian companies which had invested in Egypt had left after the revolution.