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Bilateral Issues
a. Egypt
1. Egyptian Minister of Health and Ambassador of India laid down the foundation stone of Ranbaxy-Egypt plant in Industrial Zone in 6th October city, Cairo, 12 July 2012
The foundation stone of Ranbaxy Egypt’s plant at Polaris Industrial Park,  6th October City , Cairo was jointly laid down by the Minister of Health of Arab Republic of Egypt  H.E. Dr. Fouad El-Nawawi and Ambassador of India in Cairo H.E. Mr. R. Swaminathan on 11 July 2012. The factory will offer hundreds of job opportunities to Egyptian nationals.
H.E. the Egyptian Minister of Health Dr. Fouad El-Nawawi praised the deep and friendly relations between Egypt and India and added that the establishment of this plant conveys a very significant message about the deep confidence of the Indian investors in the stability of the Egyptian economy.
In his speech, H.E. Ambassador of India to Egypt Mr. R. Swaminathan said that Ranbaxy Egypt, since its incorporation in 1996, has been one of the fastest growing companies in the Egyptian pharmaceutical sector, offering top quality branded generic products at affordable prices.  He added that the state-of-the-art factory will have the capacity to produce 50 million tablets per year, for treatment related to cardiovascular, central nervous system and gastro-intestinal ailments.  He also underlined the fact that the factory will also offer hundreds of job opportunities to Egyptian nationals and it is expected to be operational by next year.
In his concluding remarks Mr. Mahendra Bharadwaj, Africa Director, Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. stressed the company’s keenness on making high-quality affordable drugs available to the Egyptian public. He also mentioned that this plant is the fourth facility owned by Ranbaxy in Africa, the others being in Nigeria, South Africa and Morocco.
The ceremony was attended by the Chairman of the Pharmacists’ Syndicate, senior officials from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Investment, the Chamber of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, major distributors, manufacturers and visual and print media personnel.
Indian pharmaceutical industry ranks 4th in the world in terms of volume and 13th in terms of value. India exports its pharmaceutical products to 210 countries all over the world.
Source: Embassy of India, Cairo

2. Visit of an Indian Rajasthani Sufi music troupe to participate in the International “Samaa” Festival for Religious Chanting and Sufi Music, Cairo, 24 July 2012
The Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture, Embassy of India, Cairo, in collaboration with the Egyptian Ministry of Culture is organizing the visit of a renowned 10-member Rajasthani troupe led by Mr. Atta Mohammed to Egypt to perform at the  5th International “Samaa” Festival for Religious Chanting and Sufi Music from 10 – 20 Ramadan (29 July – 8 August 2012). The performances will be directed by the talented Egyptian music conductor Dr. Intesar Abdel Fatah and are being held at the historic Citadel and Qubbat El-Ghouri.
Atta Mohammed and his troupe members come from families in Rajasthan state in Western India whose lives have been traditionally dedicated to this craft for centuries. Their art represents a unique blend of folk music of the Rajasthani desert. The Sufi music traditions of Western India have a long history and represent the best of India’s unique history and heritage.
Atta Mohammed has been singing for more than 15 years. He has also participated in a variety of shows with other noted performers. His group has won awards in India such as the Marudhra Calcutta in India, and has toured internationally to Sri Lanka, Mauritius, and France. At the Samaa Festival, the troupe will perform musical renderings of Sufi poetry.
The group will perform both during the opening and closing ceremonies of the festival as well as on other occasions during the festival. The opening and closing ceremonies and some selected performances will be held at Joseph’s Well Theatre at the Citadel. Performances will also be held at Qubbat El-Ghouri . The timing for all the performances is 2130 hrs.
The performances are opened to the public free of charge.
For further details, please contact:
The Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture, Tel: 23933396/23960071; Fax: 23936572; e-mail: or “Sufi Music Festival” Foreign Cultural Relations Sector, Ministry of Culture, ARE.
Tel: 25060227/ 37487703 / 37485603; Fax: 37486715; e-mail:
Source: Embassy of India, Cairo

b. Iran
3. A 14 member delegation from Tea Board of India is visiting Iran from July 15-18, 2012, Tehran, 11 July 2012
During the visit, the Indian Tea Delegation will hold meetings with the officials of the Iranian Ministry of Health, Ministry of Commerce and Chambers of Commerce, Industries and Mines.

A Buyer-Seller-Meet (BSM) is being organized at Golzar Hall, Hotel Laleh at 1800-2200 hrs on 17 July, 2012. Representatives of Iranian Tea Industry and Buyers are invited to attend the BSM.
Source: Embassy of India, Tehran

c. Yemen
4. India’s Humanitarian Food Assistance to Republic of Yemen, New Delhi, 9 July 2012
India and Yemen have traditionally enjoyed close relations. In keeping with this, Government of India is extending humanitarian food assistance comprising rice to the Republic of Yemen. The first consignment is scheduled to reach the Port of Hodaidah, Yemen on July 13, 2012. Owing to developments affecting the Yemeni economy adversely, the United Nations has requested the international community to assist Yemen of which food assistance is a crucial component.
Source: Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi

Specific Issues
d. Incident off the coast of UAE
5. Incident involving US Naval Vessel off the coast of UAE, New Delhi, 17 July 2012
In response to a question on the incident involving a US Naval Vessel the Official Spokesperson said:

“The U.S. Government has officially confirmed that a U.S. Navy vessel fired shots at a fishing vessel near the port of Jebel Ali, Dubai at about 3.00 PM UAE local time on 16 July 2012. According to UAE officials, one Indian fisherman was killed in the firing incident and three other Indians were injured. We are deeply saddened by the loss of life of the Indian fisherman and the injuries sustained by the others. Our thoughts are with their families.

Our Embassy in Washington D.C. has been in touch with the United States Government. Our Embassy in Abu Dhabi is working with local authorities to carry out full investigation into the circumstances leading to this unfortunate and tragic incident. The Acting Consul General is in Jebel Ali to provide all necessary assistance.

The U.S. Ambassador to India Nancy Powell telephoned Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai to convey her regret for the loss of life and assured that the U.S. Government would conduct full investigation.

We will stay in regular touch with U.S and UAE authorities to ascertain full facts and take appropriate further action in the matter”.
Source: Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi

e. Iran and the U.S. Sanctions
6. Reports regarding India allegedly banning U.S.-sanctioned Iranian ships from entering Indian waters, New Delhi, 31 July 2012
Government has seen media reports regarding India allegedly banning U.S.-sanctioned Iranian ships from entering Indian waters. These reports are incorrect. With the EU sanctions, which came into effect on 1 July, 2012, some complications arose due to the non-availability of P&I club insurance to ships carrying Iranian crude oil. Consequently, a general exemption was granted by Government to foreign ships carrying Iranian crude oil on CIF basis to dock at Indian ports under certain conditions. Subsequently, the national insurance companies have agreed to extend insurance cover to Indian ships for transportation of Iranian crude to India. In view of this, the general exemption granted earlier to oil PSUs for carrying Iranian crude on CIF basis has been withdrawn. We understand that there are some issues yet to be resolved between the national insurance companies and the ship owners regarding the terms of the insurance cover to be provided to Indian ships for carrying Iranian crude oil to India. While the matter is being resolved, permission for ships carrying Iranian crude oil to India on CIF basis is being granted on a case by case basis on the request of oil PSUs.
Source: Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi

Compiled By Alvite N.

Alvite N is a doctoral candidate at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Email

As part of the policy, the MEI@ND standardizes spellings and date format to make the text uniformly accessible and stylistically consistent. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views/positions of the MEI@ND. Editor, MEI@ND: P R Kumaraswamy