India, AU to adopt Joint Declaration at India-AU Summit

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New Delhi, Mar 27 (UNI) India and the 53-member African Union (AU) will sign a Joint Declaration for strengthening relationship at the first ever India-AU Forum Summit scheduled to be held here from April 4.

The Joint Declaration will contain the political commitments of the two sides and an Africa-India Framework for Cooperation, official sources said here today.

The six-day summit will be preceded by a meeting of senior officials followed by Ministers from the two sides.

Several top African leaders including Zambian President Dr Levy Mwanaawasa, current Chairman of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the current chairman of the AU and Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete and former AU Chairman and President of Ghana John Kufuor are expected to attend.

Some international organisations including the Arab Maghreb Union, Economic Community for West African States the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the East African Community and the SADC are also expected to attend.

The summit will deliberate on ways to strengthen cooperation between India and the AU in economic and political areas.

The areas to be discussed include science and technology, research and development, social development and capacity building, tourism, infrastructure, energy and environment and media and communication.

The summit also aims at adopting a comprehensive framework to reinforce cooperation between the two sides as support to the already existing cooperation programmes between the two sides, the sources added.

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