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
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.