New Delhi. In yet another sign of increasing Indo-African relations, Africa nations have sought wider defence and counter-terror ties with India in the wake of the increasing challenges from international terror.
They expressed their interest at the just concluded mega review meet between two sides in Delhi that hailed Delhi’s non-exploitative approach to the relationship.
Western African states have also sought to deepen defence ties with India including training for its officers and joint defence exercises and the two sides have plans to hold a comprehensive security dialogue in near future.
The review meet saw senior Indian officials besides African Union representatives and Delhi-based envoys from Africa focus on measures to expand defence and security partnership in the backdrop of Delhi’s attempts to revive support and training program for militaries in the various African countries, officials said.
The military to military ties are being revived as India seeks to emerge as a net security provider in Africa amid common challenges from terrorism and piracy.
Besides defence partnership overall development partnership that has gathered momentum over past few years were reviewed at the meet. The two sides discussed new areas of cooperation such as solar energy, digital technology and traditional medicine.
“I am happy that the African Union acknowledged and welcomed the tremendous overall progress made since IAFS 3 in 2015 in India-Africa relations, including in fulfilling our commitments on our development partnership targets. This meeting has set us on the path to IAFS 4 in 2020,” T S Tirumurti Secretary (Economic Relations) and points person for India’s ties with Africa said.
The African Delegation welcomed Prime Minister Modi’s ten guiding principles of India’s engagement with Africa set out in July 2018. The African side expressed deep appreciation for contributions of India diaspora in Africa.