New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi held bilateral talks with 41 top African leaders, who attended the India-Africa summit, with most of them asking for assistance in security and capacity building even as he sought Sudanese President Omer Hassan Ahmed Elbashir's help in securing release of three nationals from Libya.
According to official sources, Modi held meetings, which were spread over three days, with the leaders on the sidelines of the IAFS during which they discussed ways to enhance cooperation in key areas.
"In his meeting with Elbashir on Friday, the Prime Minister sought help in securing the release of three Indians, held hostage in Libya by ISIS. To which the visiting leaders assured him that the message of India being a friendly country and no harm should be caused to Indians will be conveyed to the governments in Libya," a source said.
The Prime Minister also raised the issue of dues Sudan owes to ONGC and Exim banks with Elbashir describing ONGC as an "important partner".
They also discussed possibility of a joint ministerial meeting early next year.
Apart from Sudan, on Friday Modi held meetings with leaders from Sierra Leone, Madagascar, Mauritius, Rwanda, Zambia, South Sudan, Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Burundi, Gambia and Liberia.
Most of the countries sought India's assistance in counter-terrorism and capacity building while some smaller nations asked for concessional credit line to meet their agricultural and health challenges, the sources said.
While Mauritius pressed for closer economic cooperation, Rwanda sought help in regional rail connectivity.