India, Nigeria to work closely in UN

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Abuja, Oct 15: India and Nigeria today agreed to establish a Strategic Partnership between them to cover bilateral political, economic, trade, security and international dimensions, while deciding to cooperate closely at the United Nations.

Nigeria reaffirmed its support for India's permanent membership on an expanded UN Security Council. On its part, India promised to go with Africa's consensus with respect to new permanent membership from Africa.

In a joint declaration issued at the end of bilateral talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Nigerian President Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar' Adua, both the countries stressed the need to promote democratisation of the structures of global governance by increasing the participation of developing countries in their decision making bodies.

They reaffirmed their understanding that no reform of the United Nations would be complete without reform of the UN Security Council.

Both sides decided to step up cooperation in respect of UN peacekeeping operations in which their countries have traditionally played and continue to play an important role.

In the seven-page "Abuja Declaration," both the countries agreed to significantly enhance mutually beneficial trade and investment exchanges with each other's countries in sectors such as infrastructure (including Railways), agriculture, food processing, small and medium enterprises, power generation, fertilisers, ICT, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, auto-components and other sectors.

In this context, the two leaders desired that the fifth meeting of the Joint Commission be held within the next few months and should draw up a detailed road map for this purpose.

With India expressing its happiness to the Nigerian side for the rapidly growing partnership in the energy sector, both sides decided to continue to encourage further cooperation between their companies in the oil and gas sectors.

On defence cooperation, both the countries agreed to further strengthen and expand its ambit.

To begin with, India agreed to set up to IT laboratories in the defence academies of Nigeria.

They agreed to enter into a new Civil Aviation Agreement within six months to enhance air and maritime connectivity between them.

Stressing the good tradition of cooperation between India and Nigeria in the fight against international terrorism and drug trafficking, they felt the need for signing appropriate agreements for enhancing the cooperation.

They stressed that there was no justification whatsoever for any act of terrorism.

Nigeria welcomed India's proposal to host an India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi in April 2008, and said it would participate in it.

The Summit is intended to focus on finding ways and means by which India could further enhance its support to the countries of Africa to meet their socio-economic development objectives.

Both sides reiterated the importance they attach to matters pertaining to climate change and agreed that the solution to the problem of climate change could not lie in the perpetuation of poverty in developing countries.

Dr Singh and Mr Yar' Adua had a detailed exchange of views on regional issues of mutual interest in Africa, the Asia-Pacific and on international issues.

Mr Yar' Adua accepted the invitation of Dr Singh to visit India at a mutually convenient date.

A high-level delegation led by Nigerian Vice President Dr Goodluck Jonathan will attend the 4th international conference on Federalism in New Delhi in November this year.

UNI

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