Dakar [Senegal], June 4 (ANI): As Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday wrapped up his Senegal visit and is now headed to Qatar, the last leg of my three-nation tour.
"Today, I concluded my visit to Senegal, which was the first-ever high-level visit from the Indian side to the beautiful West African nation. Now, I'm on my way to Qatar, the last leg of my three-nation tour, filled with many pleasant memories of the warm hospitality and affection shown by the people of Senegal," the Vice President said in a Facebook post.
"Democracy is another binding factor between India-Senegal ties. Ever since its independence in 1960, Senegal has positioned itself as one of the stable and model democracies in Africa, making it a natural partner of world's largest democracy, India," he added.
As part of his three nations tour, the Vice President arrived in Senegal on June 1 in a first-ever high-level bilateral State visit.
Naidu was accompanied by a high-level delegation including Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar and three Members of Parliament, Sushil Kumar Modi (Rajya Sabha), Vijay Pal Singh Tomar (Rajya Sabha) and P. Ravindhranath (Lok Sabha).
The main official engagement day was on June 1, during which Vice President had a tete-a-tete followed by delegation-level talks with President Macky Sall, who warmly received him at the Presidential Palace. Senegalese President fondly recalled his earlier visits to India in 2015 and 2017.
According to the ministry of external affairs (MEA), the two leaders reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations including regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest.
Both leaders had also discussed active economic engagement and identified new areas for cooperation, particularly in agriculture, energy, health, railways, mining, housing, oilgas, defence etc.
Both sides noted the need for cooperation in skill development/training and capacity building in key sectors. Both sides signed three MOUs i.e. MoU on cooperation in Youth Affairs, Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP), and Visa waiver Agreement for diplomats/officials.
Vice President also had a meeting with the President of the National Assembly Moustapha Niasse, during which a few members of the Senegalese Parliament were also present. Both sides appreciated the leadership in upholding democratic values and traditions and agreed to have regular Parliamentary exchanges. Vice President invited the President of the National Assembly to pay a visit to India.
Vice President addressed a Business event in Senegal organized by CII, which led a 15-member delegation on an exploratory visit. Naidu also interacted with the small but vibrant Indian community in Senegal. He also delivered a Public Talk at the Universite Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD), Dakar on the theme "Tiranga-Teranga: 60 years of diplomatic relations between India and Senegal".
Both sides appreciated the mutual support extended to each other's candidatures at the UN and other international fora.
During the visit, Vice President announced the Phase-II upgradation of the Entrepreneurship Development and Technology Centre (CEDT) in Dakar, built with Indian grant assistance, and also offered a Special ITEC English proficiency course for Senegalese public servants and also a special training programme for a batch of 15 Senegalese diplomats at SushmaSwaraj Institute of Foreign Services.
During the visit, Vice President visited a few historical places in Dakar, including the Renaissance Monument and Museum of Black Civilization. He also visited Dakar Biennale, an international art exhibition that showcases contemporary African art and creativity.
"India and Senegal enjoy warm and friendly relations, sharing common values of democracy and secularism, with a strong economic engagement and development cooperation. The State visit of the Vice President, which took place as both India and Senegal celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties, reflected and reiterated the commitment to further deepen the relationship a mutual benefit of both peoples," MEA said. (ANI)