India is set to strengthen its relations with the Arab world with a slew of measures aimed at expanding security, economic and socio-cultural partnerships.

Egypt’s prestigious Al-Azhar University has offered to open an India chapter, besides offering courses at its campus to Indian students shortlisted by the Indian government, according to people aware of the matter.

The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed El-Tayeb, considered to be among the world’s most influential Muslim personalities, is planning a visit to India to reaffirm socio-cultural ties between the two countries, said one of the persons, who did not wish to be identified.

India is planning to extend its expertise in building facilities such as the IT center on the main campus of Al-Azhar University in Cairo that it had set up, to all the other institutions of the Al-Azhar Mosque, which the university is associated with, the person said.

Al-Azhar University was established in 970 AD as a school attached to the mosque and has emerged over the centuries as one of Sunni Islam’s most important universities, attracting students from across continents.

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