New Delhi: The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, who is on a three-nation tour, arrived in Senegal yesterday where he was received by Aissata Tall Sall, Minister of Foreign Affairs from the Senegalese side at Dakar airport. This is the first ever high level Indian visit to Senegal and is taking place at a time when both countries are celebrating 60 years of their diplomatic relations.
In the capital city of Dakar, Naidu led delegation level talks with the President of Senegal, H.E. Macky Sall and assured Senegal of India’s continued commitment to support the socio-economic development of Senegal through all means, bilateral, regional and international frameworks.
During these talks, three MoUs were signed by both sides to further deepen their bilateral partnership in various areas. The first MoU pertains to visa-free regime for Diplomatic and Official passport holders which would strengthen cooperation between the two countries through seamless travel of officials/diplomats.
Second agreement relates to renewal of Cultural Exchange Progarmme (CEP) for the period 2022-26. Appreciating the richness of Indian and Senegalese culture, Shri Naidu expressed confidence that with the renewal of the CEP, there will be more cultural exchanges, thereby strengthening our people-to-people contacts.
Third MoU seeks to enhance bilateral cooperation in youth matters. Recognizing that both India and Senegal have relatively young population, the Vice President expressed confidence that this MoU will be mutually beneficial to our two countries through sharing of information, knowledge and good practices, and youth exchanges.
The Vice President expressed happiness over the fact that Indo-Senegalese trade saw a 37% increase to US$ 1.5 billion during last one year despite Covid-19 pandemic. He also called for diversifying our trade basket, particularly in the sectors of Agriculture, Oil & Gas, Health, Railways, Mining, Defence, green energy etc.
Naidu appreciated the small Indian community of about 2000 Indian nationals for their valuable contribution to Senegalese economy and thanked the Senegalese Government for taking care of Indian nationals.
Appreciating Senegal’s support for India’s permanent UNSC membership, Naidu reiterated India’s unwavering support to the Common African Position, enshrined in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration and underscored the need to rectify the historical injustice done to the African continent.
Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Sushil Kumar Modi, Member of Parliament, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, Member of Parliament, and P. Raveendranath, Member of Parliament, senior officials and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.