India to host India-Africa Summit in April

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New Delhi, Jan 30 (UNI) India will host the India-Africa Summit here in April.

The announcement was made by Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma at the Executive Council of Foreign Ministers of the African Union (AU) at their Summit in Addis Ababa yesterday.

The Minister said India looked for ''true partnership'' with Africa and would support its development and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said here today.

Nearly 50 African countries along with representatives of Regional Economic Communities and the Commissioners of the African Union attended the Summit. Several Foreign Ministers including those of Liberia, Mali, Ivory Coast, Niger and Djibouti and eminent members of the African Union Audit panel were also present.

The Chairperson of the Executive Council, the Foreign Minister of Ghana, thanked Mr Anand Sharma and said that the age old friendship between India and Africa was looking for modern enhancement.

Mr Sharma is leading a delegation to the African Union Summit and invited Heads of State of African countries and their Foreign Ministers to attend the Summit.

The countries invited to the Summit are : Algeria, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Libya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia.

Mr Anand Sharma called on Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Ghanaian President John A Kufuor, who is also the current Chair of the African Union.

Both African leaders accepted the invitation to attend the Newe Delhi Summit and said the relationship and cooperation between India and Africa was now in the forefront of Africa's agenda.

The Prime Minister of Ethiopia expressed confidence that the Summit in India would be unique in its own way just as India is a special partner for Africa.

Mr Anand Sharma also called on the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Prof Alpha Oumar Konare.

The Minister also had detailed discussions on the India-Africa Forum Summit and bilateral issues with the Foreign Ministers of Ethiopia, Seyoum Mesfin, Libya, Mr. Mohammed Abderrahman Shalgham, South Africa, Dr Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini Zuma, Nigeria, Mr Ojo Maduekwe, Ghana, Mr Akwasi Osei-Adjei, Senegal Dr Cheikh Tidiane Gadio, Uganda, Mr. Sam Kutesa and Zambia, Mr. Kabinga J Pande.

UNI RB SK RN1859

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