India, Djibouti sign agreement on bilateral consultations

SansadTV Bureau

India and Djibouti have signed an agreement to establish regular Foreign Office-level consultations.

India, Djibouti sign agreement on bilateral consultations

India, Djibouti sign agreement on bilateral consultations

The decision to ramp up ties was taken after President Ram Nath Kovind held talks with his Djiboutian counterpart Omar Guelleh.

Kovind thanked Guelleh for his country’s support during Operation Rahat for evacuating Indians from war-torn Yemen in 2015, and also discussed cooperation in the maritime and renewable energy domains.

He also urged for an early ratification of Djibouti’s membership of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and mentioned its solar energy potential.

The ISA was jointly launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then French President Francois Hollande at the CoP21 in Paris in 2015.

Earlier in the day, Kovind was accorded a ceremonial welcome by Guelleh at the Presidential Palace before leading delegation-level talks.

President Ram Nath Kovind is greeted by Ismail Omar Guelleh, the President of Djibouti at the Presidential Palace in Djibouti

President Ram Nath Kovind is greeted by Ismail Omar Guelleh, the President of Djibouti at the Presidential Palace in Djibouti

President Kovind, who arrived on Tuesday on the first leg of his four-day visit to Djibouti and Ethiopia, is on his maiden trip abroad since taking office.

He is the first Indian leader to visit Djibouti.

President Kovind’s visit to the strategically-located African nation assumes significance as China has opened its first overseas military base in Djibouti.

President Kovind also addressed the Indian community on Tuesday and spoke about India’s high growth trajectory.

“The rise of India is opening new opportunities for collaboration. Our diaspora has an important role in building bridges between India and the world,” he said.

He asked the Indian diaspora not to leave their roots.

He said it was a great honour for him to be the first Indian president to visit the African country.

India’s bilateral trade with Djibouti stands at USD 284 million in 2016-17.

India has extended a line of credit of USD 49 million to Djibouti, mainly for constructing a cement plant.

(With inputs from PTI)