India, Mali to cooperate in fight against terrorism

New Delhi,(IANS) India and Mali, during the visit of Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar to the west African nation, have agreed to cooperate at all levels in the fight against terrorism the External Affairs Ministry said on Saturday.

“Both parties identified terrorism as a grave threat to peace and prosperity and agreed to cooperate at a bilateral, regional and multilateral level to combat this menace,” the ministry said in a statement following Akbar’s visit to Mali on March 2-3.

“Both sides also exchanged views on issues of common interest such as UN reforms, development issues, South-South cooperation and promotion of renewable energy,” it stated.

During his visit to Mali, Akbar co-chaired the first ever Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) between India and Mali along with Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop.

“The cordial discussions reviewed the bilateral engagement between the countries in various sectors like agriculture, energy etc and laid out areas of future co-operation, particularly in security and technology,” the statement said.

“Both parties expressed satisfaction at the enhancement of bilateral relations and progress achieved in implementation of outcomes from the visit of Vice-President of India Hamid Ansari to Mali in September 2016.”

Akbar also reiterated India’s commitment to Mali’s geographical and ideological integrity and assured India’s support for its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Diop thanked India for its assistance of $500,000 for the reconstruction of the world heritage site of Timbuktu.

India will host the largest exhibition of Timbuktu manuscripts titled “When Taj Mahal meets Timbuktu” later this year.

Both parties identified terrorism as a grave threat to peace and prosperity and agreed to co-operate at a bilateral, regional and multi-lateral level to combat this menace. Both sides also exchanged views on issues of common interest such as UN reforms, development issues, South-South co-operation and promotion of renewable energy.

“Minister Akbar’s visit would be followed by a series of high-level visits from Mali to India including the visit of Minister of Culture and Minister of Investment Promotion and Private Sector,” the ministry statement said.

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