Pranab Mukherjee arrives in Cairo

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Dubai, July 1 : India's External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee has arrived in the Egyptian capital Cairo to hold wide-ranging of talks to strengthen bilateral relations.

India's Ambassador to Egypt, A. Gopinathan, and other senior officials of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry received Mukherjee at the Cairo Airport.

During his visit, Mukherjee will meet his Egyptian counterpart Ahmed Abul Gheit and hold discussions on several issues, including international trade talks, energy security and bolstering economic and business relations.

Issues like the Middle-East peace process, UN reforms, bilateral, regional and global issues are expected to be taken up during the meeting.

Mukherjee's talks with Gheit are also likely to set the stage for the visit of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to India later this year.

Mukherjee's visit, at the invitation of Gheit, will be the first by an Indian External Affairs Minister to that country since February 2001.

Economic and commercial relations between the two countries have expanded significantly in recent years. India was Egypt's fourth largest trade partner. Bilateral trade between India and Egypt touched 2.3 billion dollars last year.

Egypt will host the 25th Non-Aligned Movement Summit in July next year. By Ashok Dixit

ANI

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