India extends support to power transition process in Egypt

Cairo: In the first political contact with the new regime after the ouster of longtime President Hosni Mubarak, India has conveyed its full support to Egypt and its people during the historic power transition process here.

New Delhi`s backing for the transitional government was conveyed by Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed during his talks with Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, his deputy Yehiah Al Aziz El Gamal and Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa.

Ahamed`s two-day visit is the first ministerial-level contact between India and Egypt since the January 25 uprising which led to the ouster of President Mubarak, ending his three decade autocratic rule.

During the meetings, Ahamed conveyed New Delhi`s continued support to Egypt during the transition process. He said India looks forward to further strengthening its relationship with Cairo that would contribute to peace and prosperity in the region.

The minister also held wide-ranging discussions with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil El-Araby. In addition to strengthening and deepening the bilateral ties, both the ministers decided to increase coordination on international issues.

The next round of Political Consultations between the two countries would take place in May in New Delhi.

A visit to India by the Egyptian Foreign Minister is also being planned, while a delegation led by the Election Commissioner of India is expected to visit Egypt to explore cooperation in the electoral process.

Ahamed called on the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Ahmed Al-Tayyib, and invited him to visit India to attend a conference in Kerala next month. The Grand Sheikh has accepted the invitation.

The minister also had a meeting with Nobel Laureate and former IAEA chief Mohamed Elbaradei on the democratic transition process in Egypt.

Terming as "remarkable" the changes being made in Egypt through peaceful means, Ahamed earlier said that India welcomes the choice made by the popular will of the people of Egypt to usher in changes.