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SiSi, African leaders in Delhi for crucial summit
October 28, 2015, 12:49 pm

Modi will welcome some 40 heads of state from 53 African countries in what the media has called the

Modi will welcome some 40 heads of state from 53 African countries in what the media has called the “largest diplomatic outreach program” [Xinhua]

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi arrives in India from the United Arab Emirates Wednesday to attend the third India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS), which will bring together 40 heads of state for the historic meet.

This is El-Sisi’s first visit to India.

The summit, which kicked off on October 26 with a meeting of senior officials and representatives delegations, culminates on October 29 with a meeting of heads of state.

Indian media has called the summit, which will be attended by all 53 African nations, “the largest diplomatic outreach program” with the continent.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to meet El-Sisi and 19 other presidents and leaders for bilateral talks Wednesday.

“We are confident that every institution and country invited will be present when our prime minister will take the floor on October 29. This summit will be a gathering of every country in Africa, the African Union and India, which is unprecedented in the annals of any summit between Africa and any other country,” Syed Akbaruddin, chief IAFS coordinator, told local media earlier this week.

During his visit to Delhi, El-Sisi is also expected to meet with Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and local leading businessmen.

Egypt and India have long had strong and strategic relations – both countries under iconic leaders Gamal Abdel Nasser and Jawaharlal Nehru established the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961 as a means for developing nations to chart a middle course rather than side with the West or the Warsaw Pact countries led by the then Soviet Union.

Sisi’s India trip also comes at a time when Cairo is looking to lure foreign capital for investment projects in Egypt following several years of weakened economic growth due to the January 2011 uprising which removed former President Hosni Mubarak from power.

Sisi’s presidential spokesperson Alaa Yousseff said in Cairo on Monday that the Egyptian leader will seek means to boost economic links between the two countries and convince increased investment from Delhi regarding the New Suez Canal, which was inaugurated last August.

Last week, the Indian government approved the signing of a support agreement with Egypt which increases cooperation between both countries in maritime activities.

Global partnerships

The IAFS is considered the greatest meeting of African nations and India since the Non-Aligned Summit in Delhi more than 30 years ago.

The Summit will focus on increasing strategic cooperations between the 53 African nations and India, boosting trade and industrial exchange, and common initiatives to end poverty in the two continents.

India will also be looking to gain support for its bid to reform the United Nations Security Council as part of ongoing efforts to increase the number of permanent members.

China, France, Russia, UK, and the US are currently the only permanent members.

According to reports in Indian media, a final summit document is expected to include a section on India’s and Africa’s support of multi-lateralism and enhancing the efficacy of United Nations to provide developing nations with the capacity to engage in the decision-making processes.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies