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Sushma Swaraj hosts bilateral meetings with African counterparts

India today assured all possible assistance in key areas of oil and gas exploration and health during the meetings External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had with her nine African counterparts, some of whom sought the country's help in fighting terror groups like Boko Haram.

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India today assured all possible assistance in key areas of oil and gas exploration and health during the meetings External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had with her nine African counterparts, some of whom sought the country's help in fighting terror groups like Boko Haram.

Foreign Ministers from African countries and India attend a meeting during the India Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi October 27. India hosts its biggest-ever Africa summit this week as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to challenge China's dominance on a continent that is blessed with vast natural resources and has the world's fastest-growing population.(Source: Express Photo by Renuka Puri.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold as many as 20 bilateral meetings with Heads of States and governments from Africa tomorrow, a day ahead of the Third India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) on Thursday (October 29).

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with African foreign ministers during the India Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi. (Source: Express Photo by Renuka Puri)

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The bilaterals will include talks with Zimbabwe's President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, South African President Jacob G Zuma, Swaziland King Mswati III, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama, Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry Vikas Swarup said.

Sushma Swaraj with foreign ministers from Africa and India poses during the India Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi. (Source: Express Photo by Renuka Puri)

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PM Narendra Modi had said, "The Summit is going to be one of the biggest gatherings of African countries outside Africa, which is a reflection of the desire on part of both Africa and India to engage more intensively in our quest for a better future." (Source: Express Photo by Renuka Puri)

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Sushma Swaraj, who held a host of bilateral meetings with her counterparts from Africa, will also hold talks with as many as 12 leaders from that region separately.

Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj (R) with South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane during a meeting at The India-Africa Summit in New Delhi on Tuesday (October 27). (Source: PTI)

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During her meeting with Swaraj, South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane told her "We are the only two countries who share a Mahatma."

Sushma Swaraj (R) with Foreign Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe Simbarashe Simbanenduku Mumbengegwi during a meeting at The India-Africa Summit in New Delhi. (Source: PTI)

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Swaraj assured the foreign ministers of the nine countries India's unwavering commitment in helping them in various sectors including capacity building.

Sushma Swaraj shakes hands with her Cameroon counterpart Mbella Mbella during a meeting in New Delhi. (Source: PTI)

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External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj meets children who won a painting contest organised as a part of the activities of the India Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi. (Source: PTI)

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During the meetings, the two sides also discussed cooperation in wide-ranging sectors like education, capacity building and mining even as Swaraj sought help from her Tunisian counterpart for release of three Indians held hostage by ISIS in Libya, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

Foreign delegates listening to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj while her addresses during The India-Africa Summit in New Delhi. (Source: PTI)

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The bilateral meetings included talks with foreign ministers of South Africa, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Malawi, Kenya, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Congo and Tunisia. (Source: Express Photo by Renuka Puri)