Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu met Dr Mahmadu Bawumiya, Vice President of Ghana, Dr Ibrahima Kassory Fofana, Prime Minister of Guinea, Monyane Moleleki, Deputy Prime Minister of Lesotho at the Vice President House.
At the luncheon meeting hosted by Vice President Naidu, the leaders shared their happiness at the traditionally close ties between their countries with India, underpinned by shared vision and values of peaceful co-existence and natural respect, democracy and rule of law.
Vice President noted with satisfaction that there was strong economic co-operation between the countries and that all countries were growing at a fast pace.
He further observed that each of our countries have natural, financial and human resources and that we have to tap into our material resources, enrich our human resources and transform our economies through partnership.
Recounting a number of high level visits between India and these countries including President of Ghana’s visit to India last year for the founding conference of International Solar Alliance; President of India’s visit to Ghana in 2016; the President of Guinea’s visit to India in 2015; His Majesty King Let Sie-III King of Lesotho’s visit in December 2017 and of Prime Minister of Lesotho in 2018, the Vice President desired that these high-level visits deepen our mutual ties and must continue. In this connection, he mentioned the possibility of his own State visit to Lesotho later this year.
He expressed pleasure that quite a few collaborative projects have been completed like the work on the Tema-Akosombo railway line has started (approx 400 Million USD) and India-Ghana Kofi Annan Centre ($ 2.86 million) set up training 20,000 students for excellence in IT in Ghana and India-Lesotho Centre for Advanced Information Technology started in 2017. He reiterated India’s support for electricity, hospitals, transportation as well as in telemedicine (e-Arogya Bharati) and digital learning (e-Vidya-Bharati) in Guinea.
“There is immense scope for enhancing bilateral trade and commercial cooperation between our countries”, he added.
He expressed the hope that in all our countries, we would be able to translate economic growth into inclusive, sustainable development and referred to Indian government’s resolve to transform governance and ultimately the lives of the people.
He thanked the leaders for their support to India in international forums, especially on the issue of India’s non-permanent membership of UNSC for 2020-21 and various candidatures in other UN bodies
The Vice President highlighted the rising tide of terrorist violence across the globe including the recent incidents of Pulwama, Christchurch and Utrecht. He underscored India’s stand as a peace-loving nation but determined to combat terror in all its forms and manifestations.
All the three leaders expressed unequivocal support to India’s actions and condemned the brutal assault at Pulwama. They reaffirmed their commitment to combat the menace and stated that even the African Union has taken a considered position against terror.
Earlier in the morning, Smt. Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister called on Vice President Naidu and congratulated him on his being conferred Doctor Honoris Causa in recognition of his contribution to the Rule of Law, democracy and sustainable development in India by the United Nations-sponsored University for Peace at Costa Rica.