Pranab Mukherjee to visit Egypt from July 1-3

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New Delhi, Jun 30: External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will leave here on Tuesday, July, on a two-day visit to Egypt for discussions with Egyptian leaders to ''reinforce and diversify'' ties between between the two countries.

The visit, at the invitation of Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, will be the first bilateral visit by an Indian Minister of External Affairs to that country since February 2001, an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said here. The two Ministers will hold discussions on strengthening trade and economic ties and on issues like West Asia, UN reforms and WTO besides regional and international situation.

Economic and commercial relations between India and Egypt have expanded significantly in recent years. India was Egypt's fourth largest trade partner and the largest importer of Egyptian products last year.

Bilateral trade amounted to 2.356 billion US Dollars. Indian investments in Egypt, currently estimated at 750 million US Dollars, are expected to go up to 2 billion Dollars by 2010.

Egypt will host the NAM Summit in July 2009.

''The visit is expected to reinforce and diversify the strong and deep-rooted bilateral ties between India and Egypt,'' the spokesman said.

UNI

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