President Pranab Mukherjee has said that India has sought Egypt's active cooperation in building a genuinely representative global order.
Mukherjee, who hosted a banquet in the honour of his Egyptian counterpart Dr. Mohamed Morsi at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Tuesday, said: "At the international level, Egypt and India have worked together closely, recognizing that in our inter-connected world, threats and opportunities, whether it be climate change, terrorism or trade are truly transnational issues."
"We are confident of your support and participation in revitalizing South-South cooperation, particularly in the Non-Aligned Movement and in the Group of 77. We seek your active cooperation in building a genuinely representative global order," he added.
Expressing confidence that Egyptian President's visit to India would be the beginning of a new era of enhanced cooperation and closer ties between both nations, Mukherjee said: "The future will be determined by the youth of our nations. India and Egypt may be ancient cultures, but our people are young, and their aspirations, hopes and grievances will determine our progress.
"As we strive to provide greater economic opportunities, and channelize the energies of our youth towards nation building, we recognize that it cannot be business as usual. We must find new ways of engagement within our societies and between our countries. Democracy is incomplete without equity. The yearning for 'bread, social justice and equality' is universal," he added.
Asserting that our historical ties go back much, Mukherjee said: "Even prior to the Common Era, Emperor Ashoka's edicts record contact with Egypt under Ptolemy II. Traders, artisans and philosophers have crossed the seas time and again to enrich each other's composite cultures. It is really no surprise, that commercial and cultural interactions continue to be at the forefront of our relations."
"I am happy to note that bilateral trade has increased steadily in the last 5 years, crossing $5 billion, despite the global economic slowdown. Indian companies across diverse sectors continue to invest in Egypt. During your visit a number of agreements have been signed, indicating our extensive cooperation in a variety of fields," he added.
Emphasing that India stand ready to walk with Egypt, Mukherjee said: "Two years ago, the people of Egypt chose to walk the long and difficult path of democracy. I use the metaphor of the road deliberately, since we in India know today, 65 years after independence, that democracy is neither a destination nor an absolute principle."
" It is more in the nature of a journey, with the steady creation of independent institutions and the careful accretion of compromises, all the while remaining faithful to the essential values of human dignity and freedom. And as much as any journey is made more fulfilling by the presence of companions, we in India stand ready to walk with your great nation as we move from our glorious past to a more perfect future," he added. (ANI)