S.M. Krishna calls for strategic partnership with Mozambique

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Maputo (Mozambique), July 5 (ANI): The visiting External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna here on Monday called for strategic partnership during his meeting with Mozambique President Armando Guebuza.

Describing Mauritius and Mozambique as gateway to Africa for India, Krishna, who is presently on a two-day visit here, said India intends to strengthen its relationship with them.

Speaking to media persons after meeting Mozambique President Guebuza here this morning, Krishna said that he proposed an idea of having strategic partnership with Mozambique.

"I had a very useful meeting with the President of Mozambique. We discussed some of the bilateral issues. I have floated the idea of strategic partnership that could be worked out between Mozambique and India, besides.....invited the President to visit India," said Krishna.

"I think Mauritius and Mozambique are gateway for us to Africa and the Government of India is willing and is very serious about engaging Africa and African nations," he said.

Krishna said India's interest in the African region has endured since the time of Mahatma Gandhi and he favoured consolidation of the relationship shared.

"Our interest is abiding, our interest since the days of Mahatma Gandhi, with the freedom struggle for India launched virtually from South Africa. Hence, Africa means so much to us ideologically, sentimentally. And we would like to strengthen our relationship," he said.

Today, India also signed an agreement to extend a credit of 25 million dollars to Mozambique for rural electrification.

India and Mozambique enjoy close and friendly relations built upon traditional links dating back to pre-colonial period.

India consistently lent its support to Mozambique in the latter's freedom struggle. Mozambique achieved its independence in 1975 and diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in the same year.

India was, in fact, among the first countries to recognise and open its Embassy in Mozambique immediately after independence.

Mozambique, a country with untapped natural resources is emerging as one of the most sought after destination for trade and investment.

The increased presence of Indian companies in the country is a testimony to Mozambique coming up as a lucrative investment destination.

Today, after meeting with the Mozambique Prime Minister, Aires Baptista Ali, at his office, Krishna left for Seychelles where he is scheduled to have a night halt on his way back to India.

India was, in fact, among the first countries to recognise and open its embassy in Mozambique, immediately after independence.

There are about 1,000 persons of Indian nationality and close to 20,000 persons of Indian origin in Mozambique. By Ravinder Singh Robin (ANI)

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