The Egyptian Army contingent marched on the Kartavya Path for the first time on Thursday on the occasion of India’s 74th Republic Day. The contingent, with 144 soldiers, was led by Colonel Mahmoud Mohamed Abdel Fattah El Kharasawy. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi was the chief guest of this year’s Republic Day celebrations. It was for the first time that an Egyptian leader was invited on India’s Republic Day.
The Egyptian contingent carried the legacy of one of the oldest regular armies known to humanity. The history of the Egyptian army goes back to 3200 BC when King Narmer unified Egypt. The modern Egyptian army was established during the rule of Muhammad Ali Pasha.
El-Sisi, who was on a four-day visit to India, was accompanied by a high-level delegation. In addition to the Republic Day celebrations, he attended an ‘At-Home’ reception by President Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan, and a meeting with Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar.
India and Egypt have enjoyed strong defence ties. There was close cooperation between the Air Forces, with efforts at jointly developing a fighter aircraft in the 1960s. IAF pilots had also trained Egyptian pilots from the 1960s until 1984. The countries are celebrating 75 years of establishment of diplomatic relations this year. India has also invited Egypt as a guest country during its G20 Presidency.