PM to visit Ethiopia and Tanzania week next

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 17, 2011 - 12:45

New Delhi: Serious threats posed by
terrorism and piracy will be high on the agenda of Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh during talks with African leaders on
his six-day visit to Ethiopia and Tanzania next week.

Singh, who leaves on May 23 for Addid Ababa, the seat of
the African Union (AU), will discuss the twin challenges
during the Second Africa-India Forum Summit to be attended by
15 African countries.

Like India, Africa too feels the adverse impact of
terrorism and piracy is a phenomenon that affects both Africa
and India and the leaders will discuss "ways and means of
reducing and eliminating it," Vivek Katju, Secretary (West) in
the External Affairs Ministry, told reporters here.

New Delhi has voiced its serious concerns over the
threats posed by Somali pirates since about 11 per cent of
seafarers engaged by international shipping companies are
Indian nationals, some of whom have been taken hostages.

There have been over 200 attacks, including about 70
successful hijackings and ransoms believed to exceed 50
million dollars have been paid to the pirates for securing
the release of hostages and ships.

Singh will co-chair the Summit with the President of
Equatorial Guinea, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in his current
capacity as chairperson of the AU.

The leaders will discuss significant aspects of the
India-Africa partnership with the objective of enhancing its
and widening its ambit for mutual benefit, Katju said.

The Summit is expected to come out with the Addis Ababa
Declaration setting out the roadmap for further consolidating
the strategic partnership between India and the African
Union. An Africa-India Framework for Enhanced Cooperation will
also be firmed up at the Summit.

Asked whether India has been following initiatives
by China and Japan to get a foothold in Africa, Katju said,
"our relationship stands with Africa stands on its own".

"India is not engaged in competition in Africa with any
other country. We are friends and we will continue to be
friends and brothers. We have a historical relationship," he
said.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, May 17, 2011 - 12:45

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