New Delhi: The External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar on Tuesday (September 1, 2020) in a virtual meeting with his Nigerian counterpart Geoffrey Onyeama, held wide-ranging discussions on the entire gamut of India-Nigeria bilateral relations.
During the 75 minutes interaction, the two Ministers recognized and acknowledged the excellent long-standing, multifaceted and strategic bilateral ties between the two counties, based on mutual friendship and cooperation.
"India being the largest democracy in the world and Nigeria the largest democracy in Africa, share the values of pluralism, inclusiveness and sustainable development for all. Both sides agreed to maintain the momentum in strengthening the excellent ties for the mutual benefit of our two countries and peoples," read the Joint Communique released after the meeting.
As per the Joint Communique, the discussions covered a wide spectrum of cooperation on political, economic and trade, defense and security, developmental assistance and cultural cooperation and both sides recalled their extensive cooperation in the field of defense training and capacity building.
Jaishankar and Onyeama expressed satisfaction that it was expanding to newer areas such as defense equipment support, medical and maintenance services, sharing of R&D expertise for counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency, and regular exchange of information/views.
They also acknowledged ongoing collaborative efforts through information sharing between the Indian and Nigerian Navies and increase of surveillance for Maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, though collaboration between Indian and Nigerian Navies.
"The Ministers urged the armed forces of both countries, to continue to work together in the on-going efforts to counter-terrorism, insurgency and piracy," said the Joint Communique.
Thank you FM @GeoffreyOnyeama of #Nigeria for a comprehensive review of ties with a key partner in Africa. Agreed to expedite initiatives in defence, trade, energy and consular matters. Will work closely on regional and international issues. pic.twitter.com/tSoyUitVI6
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) September 1, 2020
Notably, with a bilateral trade turnover of USD 13.9 billion in 2019-20, India is Nigeria’s largest trading partner, and Nigeria is India’s largest trading partner in Africa.
Both sides also agreed to expand cooperation in Information Technology (IT), Defense and solar energy projects to be executed through the Indian Line of Credit (LoC).
The Nigerian side expressed appreciation to India for the recent donation of medical supplies in support of the on-going fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jaishankar and Onyeama agreed to further intensify high-level exchanges between India and Nigeria and to hold bilateral discussions on a regular basis.