Egypt, India discuss economic cooperation
Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh left Cairo for Abu Dhabi Sunday after talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on cooperation in information technology and other economic areas, the Egyptian agency MENA reported.
The talks came after Singh was reported on Saturday to have categorically denied Arab League allegations that India and Israel were involved in nuclear cooperation.
Singh, quoted by MENA, said that his talks with Mubarak focused mainly on cooperating in information technology. MENA said technological cooperation was the main focus during the four-day visit, which followed a trip to Syria.
The situation in Kashmir and the latest developments in the Middle East were also broached during the Cairo talks, which were attended by Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Mussa.
Mussa told reporters after his meeting with Singh on Saturday that he hoped for an increase in trade cooperation with India.
Singh handed Mubarak an invitation from Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to visit India, MENA reported.
Officials at the Cairo-based Arab League have accused India of developing or seeking to develop nuclear ties with Israel twice since August 1999, but India denied it both times.
Singh said all such allegations were false, adding that India had been developing its own nuclear capabilities since 1956 without the aid of any other country, MENA reported.
The United States has tried to block Israeli-Indian military cooperation after India conducted five nuclear test explosions in May 1998 prompting its Muslim neighbor Pakistan to carry out similar tests.
While India has a declared nuclear weapons capability, Israel has neither confirmed nor denied its capability. However, foreign experts estimate that Israel has at least 200 nuclear warheads with delivery systems.
Singh arrived in Egypt on Thursday and met the Arab League's Secretary General Esmat Abdel Meguid as soon as he arrived. He said his country backed the principle of land for peace in the Israeli negotiations with the Palestinians. — (AFP, Cairo)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)