Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday held wide-ranging talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, focusing on ways to enhance bilateral ties in a range of areas, including agriculture, digital domain, culture and trade.

The 68-year-old influential Arab leader, who arrived in Delhi on Tuesday on a three-day visit, is the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations.

“Deepening our bond with Egypt — the natural bridge that connects Asia with Africa. PM @narendramodi and President @AlsisiOfficial hold talks adding momentum to the multifaceted India-Egypt relations marked by civilisational, cultural & economic linkages and deep-rooted P2P ties, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted.

The Egyptian president visited India in October 2015 to participate in the third India-Africa Forum Summit. This was followed by his state visit in September 2016.

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This is the first time that the Egyptian president has been invited as the chief guest to India’s Republic Day celebrations. A military contingent from the Egyptian Army will also participate in the Republic Day parade.

India is keen to further expand ties with Egypt, a key player in the politics of both the Arab world as well as Africa. It is also seen as a major gateway to markets in Africa and Europe.

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