India, Somalia to enhance cooperation in anti-piracy operations



NEW DELHI: India has assured Somalia to assist it in security sector even as the two countries have decided to enhance cooperation in the maritime security and anti-piracy operations.

Briefing the reporters today on the bilateral meetings Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with African leaders yesterday, the Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry said Somalian President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud also conveyed that the terror group al-Shabaab, a clan-based insurgent and terrorist group, in his country was retreating.

The visiting dignitary also invited India to explore opportunities in the gas and oil sector which had great potential but was largely untapped.

He said if the law and order situation could be controlled then nothing can stop Somalia’s development, the Spokesperson said.

“The Prime Minister assured full cooperation in the security sector and offered to send experts,” he added.

Many African leaders have sought India’s help in tackling menace of terrorism including President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who also invited the Prime Minister to his country and offered to take him to Timbuktu, the culture city in Mali.

During his talks with Modi, Mohamed Ould Adbel Aziz, President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania said that his government will soon open a mission in India. He also invited Indian government to do the same in his country.

While Modi had 10 bilateral meetings yesterday, he met as many as 12 leaders from the African countries today including Sudan President Omer Hassan Ahmed Elbashir.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also held 12 bilateral meetings with her counterparts and others from African countries today.

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