July 7, 2007 1:57:56 am
With the 53-member African Union extending its support, India’s hope for a permanent seat in the expanded United Nations Security Council was bolstered on Friday. The support came after External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee met Alpha Oumar Konar, the Union’s Chairperson, on the last day of his three-day visit to Ethiopia.
Mukherjee, during the meeting, also discussed the ways and means to take forward cooperation between India and the African countries. “We discussed ways and means of further strengthening the India-Africa partnership,” the statement issued by the Foreign Minister said.
As part of strengthening ties, Mukherjee on Friday signed pilot projects on tele-education and tele-medicine. “This is a positive example of South-South Cooperation which uses IT and space technology and generates a multiplier developmental effect,” the statement said.
The visit also saw India and Ethiopia signing several important agreements, including one to promote bilateral investments and to enhance cooperation in the fields of science and technology and education.
While the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) was signed to step up trade ties between India and Ethiopia, the two sides also decided to speed up finalisation of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement.
“Our bilateral relationship is to be further diversified and expanded,” the statement added.
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