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‘India supports Africa’s greater role at UN, global forums’

Indian FM Dr S. Jaishankar also invited the African countries to join the International Big Cat Alliance….reports Asian Lite News

Stating that India and Africa must engage and work together “very closely,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that New Delhi looks forward to a mutually beneficial and mutually respectful relationship in the true spirit of being a ‘Vishwa Bandhu.’

He further stressed that India is supportive of a greater role for Africa in the United Nations and other multilateral forums and invited the African countries to join the International Big Cat Alliance.

The EAM was addressing the Africa Day celebrations in the national capital on Tuesday.

The Foreign Minister highlighted that the defence relations between India and Africa are strongly evolving and African Defence Ministers have already held multiple meetings in India.

“Besides training military officers from several countries in our military training institutions, India has also contributed to the setting up of Defence Academies and Colleges in Nigeria, Ethiopia and in Tanzania. We have deployed training teams in several African countries like Botswana, Namibia, Uganda, Lesotho, Zambia, Mauritius, Seychelles and Tanzania, among others.

“India is the third largest contributor to the UN Peace-Keeping Operations with nearly 5000 Indian personnel currently serving in five Peacekeeping Missions in Africa. India has also joined the Djibouti Code of Conduct and the Jeddah Amendment, as an Observer in August 2020, to play an active role in the repression of piracy and armed robbery against ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden and in order to secure maritime navigation,” he added.

Jaishankar highlighted that India kept Global South at the centre of global discourse during its G20 presidency last year, adding that African Union’s inclusion as a permanent G20 member is a matter of ‘pride’ for New Delhi.

“Given our shared struggles, it is natural that we are supportive of a greater role for Africa in the United Nations and other multilateral fora. During our G-20 Presidency, as you all just saw, India took the decision to keep the global south at the centre of global discourse. We put emphasis on the aspirations of Africa, not just the needs of Africa,” he said.

“The inclusion of the African Union as a permanent member of the G20 during our Presidency in 2023 is a matter of great pride for us. We also completely stand behind African Union’s ‘Ezulwini Consensus’ and the ‘Sirte Declaration’. We have reiterated our commitment to the global south in the “Voice of Global South Summits” which we held in January and November 2023,” Jaishankar added.

The Foreign Minister further appreciated the participation of of African countries in the International Solar Alliance (ISA), the Global Biofuel Alliance and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) and invited them to join the International Big Cat Alliance.

“We also value the participation of African countries in the International Solar Alliance (ISA), the Global Biofuel Alliance and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI). We are thankful to Africa for helping us recreate our bio-diversity and I take this opportunity to invite African countries to join us in the International Big Cat Alliance,” he further said.

He said that India’s belief in transformative power of technology, which is providing citizen-centric services to people is also yielding results in Africa. He added that India’s strides in its space programme have also opened up exciting avenues for cooperation with Africa.

Calling for closer ties between India and Africa, Jaishankar said he looks forward for the fourth India Africa Forum Summit (IAFS IV).

“For all these reasons and more, India and Africa must engage and must work together very closely. In this regard, we look forward to organising the IAFS IV Summit, and we seek your support to do so. We hope that the event would provide a more contemporary agenda of cooperation between us,” Jaishankar said.

He also cited Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2018 remarks on India’s focus on Africa, “India’s priority is not just Africa; India’s priority is Africans – every man, woman and child in Africa. Our partnership with Africa is beyond strategic concerns and economic benefits. It is based on the emotional bonds we share and the solidarity we feel.”

“I assure you that Africa will be at the top of our priorities. We look forward to a mutually beneficial and mutually respectful relationship in the true spirit of being a Vishwa Bandhu,” Jaishankar added. (ANI)

India issues advisory for nationals in Kenya

India has issued advisory for its nationals in Kenya, as protests against a tax hike turned violent creating a rampage in the African nation.

The Indian Embassy in Kenya on Tuesday, advised the Indian nationals there to “exercise utmost caution” and avoid the areas affected by the protests and violence till the situation improves.

The Indian mission also advised the Indian nationals to follow local news and Mission’s website and social media handles for updates.

“In view of the prevailing tense situation, all Indians in Kenya are advised to exercise utmost caution, restrict non-essential movement and avoid the areas affected by the protests and violence till the situation clears up,” the Embassy stated.

This comes as the protests against proposed tax hikes in Kenya are the target of widespread protests, which are expected to culminate in a “total shutdown” of the nation.

The people in the country have been organising rallies under the title of “7 Days of Rage” in response to the Finance Bill 2024, which has generated additional days of unrest around the country, reported CNN.

Meanwhile, amid raging protests, Auma Obama, the half-sister of former US President Barack Obama, was teargassed live on air on Tuesday, CNN reported.

The incident occurred when Auma Obama, who is a Kenyan-British activist, was in a chat with CNN’s Larry Madowo with a group of teenage protestors.

“I can’t even see anymore, we’re being teargassed,” she said.

The demonstrations coincide with Kenya’s rising international profile following US President Joe Biden’s designation of the country as a “major non-NATO ally” on Monday.

This is the first time a country in sub-Saharan Africa has been granted this designation.

In May, as part of a major state visit to the White House honouring 60 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries, Biden declared his intention to promote Kenya to this status. (ANI)

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