Islamabad, An MoU signing took place between the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) and the Strategic Studies Center (SCC), Nasser Higher Military Academy, Egypt, which was facilitated by the Centre for Afghanistan, Middle East and Africa (CAMEA). The ISSI was represented by its Director General, Ambassador Sohail Mahmood and SCC by its Director, Major General Tarek Mohamed Hilal.
The MoU signing ceremony was also attended by H.E. Dr. Tarek Dahroug, Ambassador of Egypt to Pakistan; Col. Mokhtar Ahmed, Chairman of Planning, Nasser Higher Military Academy, Egypt; Brig. Mohamad Saad and Col. Mahmoud Hassan of the Egyptian Defence Attache Office; Dr. Raza Shahid, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Pakistan in Egypt; Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, Chairman Board of Governors (BOG), ISSI and Ms Amina Khan, Director, Centre for Afghanistan, Middle East and Africa (CAMEA).
Director CAMEA, Ms. Amina Khan, while giving her introductory remarks, stated that signing of MoU was a reflection of warmth and desire on both sides to expand the scope of bilateral interaction. She hoped that the MoU would help further the relationship between Pakistan and Egypt, through such institutional linkages between both sides for collaborative research and dialogue on issues of mutual interest.
Welcoming the conclusion of the MoU, Director General ISSI, Ambassador Sohail Mahmood said that ISSI highly valued its relationship with the Nasser Higher Military Academy. The two institutes had interacted in the past and this MoU formalized the institutional linkages between both sides and laid the framework for building a collaborative partnership in the future. He added that Pakistan-Egypt relations were firmly anchored in history, common faith and convergent perspectives on regional and international issues. This was also in line with Pakistan’s “Engage Africa” initiative. He added that Pakistan accords high importance to its partnership with Egypt, which had historically played a pivotal role in the region. Ambassador Sohail also referred to the historic agreement on establishment of the ‘Loss and Damage’ Funds at the COP27 in Sharm-el-Sheikh where, as the host, Egypt’s role and support was invaluable. A closer and stronger Pakistan-Egypt relationship was of vital importance in these times of global flux and uncertainty, he said, adding that it would continue to grow as the two countries celebrate the 75th anniversary of their diplomatic relations this year.
Director Strategic Studies Centre in the Armed Forces of Egypt, Major General Tarek Mohamed Hilal, said that Pakistan and Egypt are very important countries in the region and friendly ties between these countries are of utmost significance. Both countries have a long-standing history of solidarity. He said that the entire team at the Nasser Higher Academy looks forward to a fruitful partnership with ISSI and this mutual cooperation will be beneficial for both countries. This MoU reflects both sides’ keenness to work together to counter the challenges faced by the two countries.
Ambassador of Egypt to Pakistan, H.E. Dr. Tarek Dahroug, was of the view that Pakistan and Egypt are two important countries and there is a lot of potential that needs to be explored. The Egyptian Embassy has undertaken important milestones to enhance the relationship and create new linkages between researchers of both Pakistan and Egypt. He said that this MoU is a reflection of the untapped potential of research oriented cooperation between both countries.
Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Pakistan in Egypt, Dr Raza Shahid, appreciated ISSI’s work and said that this MoU with Nasser Higher Academy will be instrumental in bringing both Pakistan and Egypt closer together through academic linkages in areas of mutual interest. He highlighted the various facets of the bilateral relationship between Pakistan and Egypt and hoped that this MoU will lay a solid basis for future cooperation.
Chairman of Planning, Nasser Higher Military Academy, Egypt, Col. Mokhtar Ahmed, said this MoU will help to produce diverse linkages and cooperation between the two institutions and facilitate collaboration at regional and international levels. It will enable the two sides to achieve better interaction and fruitful cooperation.
Chairman ISSI, Ambassador Khalid Mahmood shared his thoughts on Pakistan-Egypt relations in the historic and contemporary perspective and added that think-tank interaction, such as the one between the ISSI and SCC, was essential for enhancing Pakistan-Egypt ties.