Indian President addresses Parliament of Equatorial Guinea
- April 9, 2018
The President of India, Mr Ram Nath Kovind, addressed members of the Parliament of Equatorial Guinea on Sunday evening (April 8, 2018).
This is the first time ever that a head of state from India has visited Equatorial Guinea.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that all three of his state visits since taking over as President of India in July 2017 have been to Africa. This is acknowledgement of India’s close and abiding relationship with the African continent.
The President said that Equatorial Guinea and India have shared attributes and challenges. Equatorial Guinea represents one of Africa’s strongest economies. India is the world’s fastest-growing major economy. The aspiration for both of us is to take urgent and necessary steps to become developed countries, to bring the benefits of our economic growth to all sections of our societies, and to create an environment for young people to realise their potential. In this, India is ready to support Equatorial Guinea as per its developmental priorities, and as per a process shaped and led by it.
The President said that as Equatorial Guinea seeks to diversify its economy from the oil and gas sector, it will find India a credible partner. We can work together to build capacities in agriculture and mining, in fisheries and public health, in food processing and telecom and IT. Geologists from India can assist Equatorial Guinea’s technical specialists in surveying and mapping natural resources. Indian agricultural technologists can help analyse the composition of soil on a particular farm or in a particular region. Such knowledge can enable farmers to identify the right nutrients for the soil – and improve productivity.
The President said that the Equatorial Guinea-India partnership is for both our countries, but it is also a partnership for the world. As sea-faring societies, we are equally conscious of the safety and security of our oceans – and of the continued need for a transparent and rules-based order of maritime governance. The Atlantic and Indian Oceans are sisters. Their oceanic systems are interlinked – and so are their security challenges and, often, the threats of humanitarian disasters.
These challenges, President Kovind said, have to be met with concerted efforts. Our countries must collaborate more on maritime security. We must work together to ensure that the seas spread harmony, create friendships and promote trade and commerce. In defence, as much as in disaster planning and preparedness, India would be glad to cooperate still more with Equatorial Guinea, and offer its technical and other capacities.
The President congratulated Equatorial Guinea for having been elected to the United Nations Security Council for a two-year term that began in January this year. He said that India wishes to work with Equatorial Guinea to make the UN more effective, more equitable, and more reflective of today’s realities. He was confident that Equatorial Guinea will play an active role in highlighting issues related to Africa and to developing countries in general – as well as challenges that are of a global nature.
The President said that the menace of terrorism is a sad reality of our times. Terrorism is a global challenge, but it is being dealt with piecemeal. A comprehensive global strategy needs to be established. In this regard, India seeks Equatorial Guinea’s support for early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the UN.
Later, the President met and addressed the Indian community in Malabo at a community reception hosted by Mr Sushil Kumar Singhal, Ambassador of India to Equatorial Guinea.
Addressing the gathering, the President said that every member of the Indian community was critical to strengthening relations between India and Equatorial Guinea. There is only one diplomatic ambassador appointed by the Government of India, but all members of the Indian community in this country are cultural ambassadors of India. He urged the community to help enhance business and cultural links between the two countries.
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