India, Benin set up joint commission to boost bilateral co-op
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Last Updated: Thursday, October 22, 2009, 13:43
Cotonou (Benin): India has established a joint commission with Benin to boost multi-sectoral bilateral co-operation with the West African country.

Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor, who arrived here Wednesday on a three-day official visit, will hold talks with Benin Foreign Minister Jean Marie Ehouzou and finalise the agenda of the bilateral joint commission.

Tharoor, who is handling Africa, the Middle East and Latin American affairs, will also meet President Boni Yayi.

"I look forward to receiving His Excellency's valuable guidance on promotion of bilateral relations as well as his assessment of the major regional and international issues," Tharoor said during his maiden visit to Benin which has a regional power, Nigeria as its neighbour.

"We in India greatly admire Republic of Benin as a shining example of a tolerant, progressive multi-ethnic and multi-religious society with a multi-party democracy," he said.

India and Benin signed five agreements in March this year covering issues like small-scale industries, cultural and scientific cooperation and diplomatic exchange. They were signed during Benin President Yayi's visit to India.

Tharoor had earlier visited Liberia and said that India would encourage its private sector to invest in Africa.

"What we're doing in Africa, we're doing it because we think it's the right thing to do as well as we're genuinely convinced that Africa is a place when India can make a valuable contribution," he said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, October 22, 2009, 13:43

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