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Modi, Sisi discuss counter terrorism, investment opportunities

Vikas Swarup, Indian diplomat and author

        
United Nations :  Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi have discussed counter terrorism and explored the possibilities of Indian investment in the ambitious Suez Canal project.

“There was discussion on how this project offered investment opportunities for India,” External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said.

The extension of the multi-billion Suez Canal project opened very recently.

This was the first meeting between the two leaders. India has had historical relationship with Egypt. “This was an important occasion for the two leaders to exchange views. Mainly the discussions were on counter terrorism and counter radicalisation and economic and business cooperation between India and Egypt,” Swarup said.

Dubbed as Suez Canal Axis, the 72-kilometre project is aimed at speeding up traffic along the existing waterway by reducing the waiting period of vessels, as well as boosting revenues for Egypt. The project was inaugurated by Sisi on August 6 that runs part of the way along the existing canal that connects Red Sea to the Mediterranean.

Modi also had a brief meeting with the Prime Minister of St Lucia Kenny Davis Anthony, who thanked the Indian leader that he has given a lot of importance to small countries and their voices. Modi responded that this was a matter of conviction for him.

“There was a brief discussion on whether there would be a possibility for the two of them to meet at the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Malta later this year,” the spokesman added.

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