Indo-Zambian ties should progress to exploit enormous opportunities of cooperation: Ansari

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Lusaka (Zambia), Jan.6 (ANI): Expressing confidence about the future of high-level exchanges between India and Zambia, visiting Indian Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari said on Tuesday night that bilateral relations have developed in multi-faceted areas, and progress in economic, commercial and technical fields has been praiseworthy.

Speaking at a State Banquet held in his honour by his Zambian counterpart George Kunda, Ansari said: "We need to exploit our synergies and complementarities, and utilize the enormous opportunities of cooperation that exist in areas of agriculture, irrigation, trade, investment, power, small and medium industries, education, telecommunication and tourism."

"We would encourage public-private partnerships to realize this potential to the fullest and further deepen our economic engagement," he added.

He said that India and Zambia share common perceptions on the major issues before the international community, and were committed to working together for the maintenance of global peace and security.

In this regard, he said issues like the UN reforms, universal disarmament, the fight against terrorism, establishment of a fair and equitable global trading regime and addressing the vagaries of climate change needed to be addressed by both nations in a more effective manner.

With the Indian Government approving a 50 million dollar Line of Credit for the Itezhi Tezhi Hydropower Project, the vice-president said New Delhi is committed to extending similar lines of credit for infrastructural and industrial projects that contribute to Zambian development.

India, he said, would make available grants for the social sector, for projects covering agriculture, health and education sectors of Zambia.

Ansari said that the recently commissioned Pan-African E-Network Project was yet another milestone of South-South Cooperation, as it would facilitate tele-education and tele-medicine services, besides video-conferencing with all Heads of State of Africa.

Zambia, he said, has been a major beneficiary of the ITEC program, with around 2300 civilians trained in India so far. Defence cooperation between the two nations was also of a high order, he added.

Lauding the contribution of the Indian community in Zambia's development, Ansari said the 13,000 strong -community has helped to bridge cooperation and bonds of friendship, which he deeply appreciated.

"India's partnership with Zambia is an important component of our larger vision of close, cooperative and multi-sectoral partnership with African countries, " the vice-president said before signing off with the words "Mulungu Adalise Zambia" (God Bless Zambia). (ANI)

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