Tue, 25 Feb 2020

New Delhi [India], Jan 22 (ANI): Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday said that the visit by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to Niamey is the "reiteration of importance India attaches to its relations Niger and with other countries in the Sahel."Sahel is the ecoclimatic and biogeographic zone of transition in Africa between the Sahara to the north and the Sudanian Savanna to the south.

"India and Niger enjoy close relations. Bilateral relations have expanded significantly in recent years. India has provided Lines of Credit to Niger for projects in transport, electrification, solar energy and potable drinking water. Several hundreds of officials from Niger have utilized India's capacity building training programmes under ITEC programme," MEA statement read.

"India has also extended assistance to Niger in support of organising the African Union (AU) summit held in Niamey on July 7-8, 2019. The visit by EAM to Niamey is a reiteration of importance India attaches to its relations Niger and with other countries in the Sahel," the statement added.

Jaishankar visited Niamey, Republic of Niger, from January 20-21.

"During the visit, EAM called on President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou on January 21 and both the leaders jointly inaugurated the Mahatma Gandhi International Convention Centre (MGICC). MGICC is the first centre to be established in Africa by India to honour the memory of Mahatma Gandhi whose 150th birth anniversary was observed in 2019," MEA said.

Terming the establishment of the Centre as a landmark for India-Niger friendship and as also a symbol of India's firm commitment towards Africa, the MEA said, "The Convention Centre, has been designed as a spacious, modern and eco-friendly facility, including a 2000 capacity Plenary Hall, to witness high-level and wide-ranging participation from the AU Member States and other high-level Conventions."During his stay in Niamey, Jaishankar also called on Prime Minister of Niger, Brigi Rafini and held discussions on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues with his counterpart Kalla Ankourao, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Regional Integration of Niger. (ANI)

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