Vice President Hamid Ansari is on his way to North African countries of Morocco and Tunisia for a five-day visit. The visit is part of the effort to build on the diplomatic gains from the India-Africa summit held in Delhi last year in October.
The Vice President will discuss with leaders in the two North African countries issues of terrorism, UN Security Council expansion and investments in private sector, as well as ways to strengthen outreach to Africa and regional matters. He aims to boost bilateral ties and explore new areas of cooperation with the two countries.
Vice President Ansari will be in Morocco till June 1. He was invited by the Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane, said the External Affairs Ministry. The two leaders are expected to jointly launch the India-Morocco Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Rabat.
VP’s visit to Morocco is aimed at further strengthening the cordial relations between the two countries, develop and diversify profile of bilateral economic cooperation and explore new avenues of co-operation and partnership on a wide range of issues of shared common interest, the MEA said.
A number of MoUs in areas like education amd IT, focusing on “capacity building and cultural exchange,” are likely to be signed.
The Vice President will hold discussions with King Mohammed VI and Prime Minister Benkirane in capital Rabat. Speakers of both Houses of Moroccan Parliament and the Minister of Foreign Affairs & Cooperation will also call on VP Ansari.
During the course of his visit, the Vice President will meet leading intellectuals and Imams of Morocco as well as deliver a talk at Mohammed V University in Rabat.
He will also interact with the Indian diaspora in the Moroccan capital.
The Vice President is also scheduled to visit the city of Marrakesh where he will be hosted by the Governor.
On the second leg of his two-nation tour, VP Ansari will be in Tunisia from June 2 to June 3.
The Vice President will hold talks with Tunisian PM Habib Essid and President Beji Caid Essebsi in capital Tunis. The talks will focus on a wide range of issues of shared common interest.
“The economic cooperation between the two countries is deepening with Indian investments in phosphate sector,” the MEA said.
During this visit, further avenues of cooperation in various areas of growth will be discussed, said the MEA.
VP Ansari will be received by the President of the Assembly of the Representatives of the People of Tunisia where he will be meeting multi-party Members of Parliament and Tunisian-India Parliamentary Group.
VP Ansari will also deliver a keynote address to the Tunisian Diplomatic Corps and leading scholars and think tanks at the Tunisian Institute for Strategic Studies.
Apart from the Vice President and his wife, the Indian delegation comprises of Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, four members of Parliament and other senior officials.
(With inputs from PTI)