Mursi visiting India in March, wants Egypt to join BRICS
Christof Lehmann (nsnbc) Egypt´s domestically troubled President Mohammed Mursi will be on an official visit to India during the third week of March 2013. Part of the agenda, will be discussions about the possibilities for Egypt joining the BRICS. The exact date of President Mursi´s arrival to India has not yet been confirmed, but according to the Indian Ministry for Foreign Economic Relations, the visit is scheduled during the third week of March.
India is playing an active role in the Non-Aligned Movement as well as in the BRICS. India has, together with Iran, which hosted the 2012 NAM Summit in Tehran, been playing an active role in establishing ties to the post-Arab Spring governments of Northern Africa. The policy has caused some critics to blame both Iran and India for indirectly aiding the US/NATO aggression in Libya and the installationof a Muslim Brotherhood dominated government in Tunisia with the aid of Qatar and the USA.
According to Indian ministerial sources, the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Egypts President Mursi agreed to strengthen bilateral relations and to discuss new areas of cooperation. Mursi expressed, that his Muslim Brotherhood based Freedom and Justice Party would work toward expanding the scope of Egypt´s foreign policy in the East, including India and China, and that Mursi has expressed his wish, that Egypt should join the BRICS group, which is constituted of Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa.
The bilateral trade between Egypt and India is estimated at USD 3,2 billion per year. Closer Egyptian ties to the Indian and Chinese economies and entering the BRICS, could help boost the troubled Egyptian economy. Egypt´s economy has suffered considerably since the onset of the “Arab Spring” two years ago.
Security analysts, with whom nsnbc has discussed Egypt´s ambitions to join the BRICS and the perspective of a stronger Egyptian foreign policy presence in Asia however, are warning about possible long-term security implications, and the risk of a Qatar/US – financed “Asian Spring” in parts of India, Nepal, Myanmar´s Rakhine State and Southern Thailand.
With the Egyptian opposition still gaining momentum is it however, questionable whether Egypt´s foreign policy will remain under influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood much longer, and whether an Egypt with a non-Muslim Brotherhood government could be a valuable contribution to strengthening the long-term political agenda of the BRICS.