New Delhi: India has invited Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to visit India for the third India-Africa Forum Summit scheduled to be held here in October.
"Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari informed President Sisi that Prime Minister Modi was personally very keen to meet him and the third India-Africa Forum Summit would be an occasion not only for expanding regional cooperation but also for taking India-Egypt bilateral partnership to a new high," India's shipping ministry said in a statement here.
Gadkari, who is in Egypt to represent India at the inaugural ceremony of the New Suez Canal on Thursday, handed over Modi's invitation letter to the Egyptian President.
"President Sisi hoped that there would be further closer cooperation between the two countries in various areas and reiterated his commitment to further strengthening bilateral relations between the two friendly nations," the shipping ministry statement said.
Gadkari congratulated Sisi on the completion of the New Suez Canal and described it as a great achievement which would promote economic development of Egypt and the region. Sisi said he was very impressed by recent economic developments in India which could be a model for countries like Egypt.
Egypt began the trial runs of the New Suez canal late last month, ahead of the formal inauguration on Thursday. It will run part of the way along the existing canal that connects Red Sea to the Mediterranean.
On Wednesday, Gadkari called on his Egyptian counterpart to discuss ways to improve bilateral ties in the waterways and ports sectors.
"Gadkari called on the Egyptian transport minister Eng Hany Dahy here (Cairo). The two ministers agreed to enhance cooperation between India and Egypt in the area of inland waterways and port development. An MoU is scheduled to be signed in this regard," an official statement here said.
The Egyptian minister also expressed keen interest in India's ambitious plans for infrastructure development
"Both leaders exchanged ideas on innovative financing for PPP (public-private partnership) projects and use of new technology in areas of green transport, river transport and ports," the statement added.