Djibouti today acknowledged India’s role in maintaining peace and stability in the Horn of Africa region as the two countries decided to join hands to eradicate the menace of terrorism.
President Ram Nath Kovind during a visit to the country, the first by an Indian head of state, held wide-ranging discussions with his Djiboutian counterpart Omar Guelleh.
During the visit, the two nations signed an agreement to establish regular Foreign Office-level consultations. Both the leaders acknowledged the significant role of Djibouti and its strategic importance as well as India’s role in the maintenance of peace and stability in the Horn of Africa region, a joint statement said.
They underlined the need to engage both India and Djibouti on regional and international issues of mutual concern. Both the leaders shared the views that terrorism is a greater threat to mankind and global peace and stability. They expressed their willingness to join hands with the international community in eradicating the menace of terrorism from the society in order to prevail peace and tranquility in the world, it said.
They agreed on the need to take strong and stringent measures against terrorists, terror organisations, and their networks. The leaders called for an urgent need for the reform of the UN Security Council, including its expansion, to make it more representative, accountable, effective and responsive to the geopolitical realities of the 21st century.
Both the countries agreed to work closely to intensify their cooperation in the United Nations and other multilateral fora in order to address current global challenges such as climate change and to foster international and regional peace and security, and sustainable development.
Underlining the potential for deepening relations in the economic arena, the Djiboutian Government called for greater role for India in the country’s economic development, with a focus on small and medium scale industries. Djibouti also appreciated Lines of credit/grants extended by India towards this purpose.
The two leaders welcomed the launch of International Solar Alliance (ISA) as a common platform for cooperation among solar resource-rich countries and expressed their commitment to work closely to deepen bilateral and regional cooperation in this area.
Kovind urged for an early ratification of Djibouti’s membership of the 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.
The aim of the ISA is to provide a dedicated platform for cooperation among solar resource-rich countries and promote the use of solar energy. The Djiboutian government expressed appreciation for the contribution of the Indian community towards the country’s economic development and promotion of bilateral relations, the statement said.
The two leaders underlined the need for promoting greater cultural exchanges. Both sides encouraged regular exchanges at Ministerial level visits to further intensify bilateral relations between the two countries.
Kovind extended an invitation to Guelleh to visit India. 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.
Earlier today, Kovind was accorded a ceremonial welcome by Guelleh at the Presidential Palace here before leading delegation-level talks. Kovind, who arrived here yesterday on the first leg of his four-day visit to Djibouti and Ethiopia, is on his maiden trip abroad since taking office. Kovind’s visit to the strategically-located African nation assumes significance as China has opened its first overseas military base in Djibouti.