India and Egypt have a close partnership in various fields and want to expand this agenda that will include the possibility of new cooperation opportunities, the Indian envoy here has said.

India’s Ambassador to Egypt Sanjay Bhattacharyya met with Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr and Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali this week, who both confirmed their continuous support and collaboration in new projects that engage both countries.

“India and Egypt have very close partnerships in various fronts and we want to expand our agenda which will include the possibility of new cooperation opportunities,” Ambassador Bhattacharyya told PTI.

India has collaborated with Egypt recently in achieving two very large development projects; the solar project and a vocational training centre.

The ambassador said that both countries are keen on achieving more success on various sides.

“We are also looking forward to start our next development project which is a centre of excellence in information technology at Al-Azhar University. This will be the setting stone for more such projects,” the ambassador said.

“I had the opportunity to call on the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar some weeks ago and we had discussed this project as well with him and the Grand Sheikh was very happy about this project. He has said that we will used that Indian model in the other institutions of Al-Azhar University across Egypt.” “So we hope we could be able to cooperate together in this project because we see the very central role of Al-Azhar on the development – not just in Egypt but in the entire Arab world,” the ambassador said.

As India is Egypt’s sixth largest trading partner and both countries enjoy strong economic ties, Bhattacharyya was keen on discussing future projects in this field with officials.

“We are also looking at how we can collaborate further between India and Egypt into the sector of micro and small enterprises, in the sector of renewable energy particularly solar energy,” he said.

“And whether we can utilise the line of credit that India has offered under the Africa summit funds for project in Egypt,” he added.

During his meeting with the Egyptian Minister of Social Solidarity the ambassador discussed a wide range of issues including collaborating between civil society on both sides.

“Also we discussed the issues of addressing empowerment of women and youth so that they can become more participating members of society,” he said.