India, Egypt to set up Strategic Dialogue mechanism

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New Delhi, Nov 18 (UNI) India and Egypt today decided to establish a mechanism for a Strategic Dialogue at the Foreign Ministerial level to revitalise the current process for regular political consultations on bilateral, regional and international issues. Such a dialogue could be held either at the respective capitals or on the sidelines of multilateral fora.

A Joint Declaration issued after delegation-level talks betwen Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak here said the two sides also agreed to institute a security policy dialogue at the relevant level.

Whenever necessary, expert committees or working groups could be constituted under this mechanism by mutual consent.

The Egyptian President who arrived here on November 16 on a four-day state visit, also called on President Pratibha Patil.

Vice-President Hamid Ansari, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi called on President Mubarak. President Pratibha Patil hosted a banquet in honour of President Mubarak.

At the delegation-level talks, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Mubarak expressed satisfaction over the evolution of bilateral relations in recent years and directed that exchanges and consultations be intensified to realise the full potential of the relationship.

The two leaders discussed a wide range of issues of bilateral and international interest including those relating to the situation in West Asia, the Non-aligned Movement, UN reforms, bilateral economic cooperation, investment matters and cooperation in peaceful uses of space and peaceful nuclear energy co-operation.

The two countries resolved to continue working together to strengthen the central role of the United Nations in maintaining peace and security. They also emphasised the need for acceleration of the process of UN reforms to reflect contemporary realities. MORE UNI RB NY KN2037

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