New Delhi: Senegal wants India as its ‘reliable partner’ in its vision of the ‘Emerging Senegal 2035’. President of Senegal Macky Sall made the remarks during an interaction with the Indian delegation led by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.
President Macky Sall has requested India’s support in Railways and healthcare – “broadly wanting India to be a reliable partner in his vision of the ‘Emerging Senegal 2035’, stated Dammu Ravi, Secretary (ER) in the Ministry of External Affairs.
During the interaction between the two sides, economic issues were also discussed at length. Both sides talked about bilateral trade, which has grown by 35-37% in the last two years. Bilateral trade is at 1.65 billion now.
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu reiterated India’s commitment to be a part of Senegal’s growth story. He is on a 3-nation tour comprising Gabon, Senegal and Qatar.
Three MoUs were signed with the West African country to further deepen bilateral partnerships in various areas.
One such MoU pertains to a visa-free regime for Diplomatic and Official passport holders, which would strengthen cooperation between the two countries through seamless travel of officials/diplomats.
The second agreement relates to the renewal of the Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) for the period 2022-26. Appreciating the richness of Indian and Senegalese culture, Mr Naidu expressed confidence that
with the renewal of the CEP, there will be more cultural exchanges, thereby strengthening people-to-people contacts.
The third MoU seeks to enhance bilateral cooperation in youth matters.
Recognizing that both India and Senegal have relatively young populations, the Vice President expressed confidence that this MoU will be mutually beneficial to the two countries through sharing of information, knowledge and good practices, and youth exchanges.
Complimenting Senegal for positioning itself as one of Africa’s model democracies, the Vice President said that India, as the world’s largest democracy, appreciates Senegal’s success in this regard.
Appreciating Senegal’s support for India’s permanent UNSC membership, Mr Naidu reiterated India’s unwavering support for the Common African Position, enshrined in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration and underscored the need to rectify the historical injustice done to the African continent.
“There was discussion on cultural enhancement including Bollywood, people-to-people, and parliamentarian exchanges. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu invited President of the National Assembly (of Senegal) Moustapha Niasse to visit India at a mutually convenient time,” said the MEA Secretary.