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India-Comoros Joint Statement during State Visit of Vice President to Comoros (October 10-12, 2019)

October 12, 2019

1. At the invitation of Government of Comoros, Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu undertook a State visit to Comoros from 10-12 October 2019, a first by any high political dignitary from India. He was accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising of Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, Minister of State of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying in addition to Senior Government Officials.

2. Vice President was accorded a high level ceremonial welcome on arrival. During the visit, He held meeting with President H.E. Mr. Azali Assoumani and had discussions on a wide range of bilateral and multilateral issues of mutual interest.

3. During the discussions, Vice President Naidu and President Azali Assoumani underlined the traditionally warm and close ties between Comoros and India. They re-affirmed the mutual desire to strengthen political, economic, commercial, technical, educational and defence cooperation between India and Comoros. The contribution of Indian Diaspora towards the national development and economic growth of Comoros was also recognized.

4. India and Comoros noted the potential for enhancement and expansion of defence ties, especially in the maritime domain to ensure collaborative security and economic growth for all littoral countries in the Indian Ocean Region.

5. Both sides noted that India has gained expertise and capacity in the area of health, education, renewable energy, information technology, and is in a position to enhance cooperation with Comoros in these sectors.

6. Vice President Naidu and President Azali Assoumani unequivocally condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and stressed that there can be no justification for any act of terrorism irrespective of motivations. In this context, both sides underlined their shared concerns on the menace of terrorism and stressed the importance of international efforts to prevent and fight against terrorism. The two leaders agreed that resolute and credible steps must be taken to eliminate safe heavens and sanctuaries that provide shelter to terrorists and their activities.

7. Both sides underlined the need for urgent reforms of the UN Security Council and the importance of moving the reforms process forward.

8. Both the leaders witnessed signing of the following MoUs between India and Comoros:

(i) Co-operation in the field of defence
(ii) Cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine
(iii) Exemption of visa for diplomatic and official passport holders
(iv) Cooperation in the field of Arts and Culture
(v) Protocol on Foreign Office Consultations
(vi) e-VBAB Network Project

9. The Vice President announced (i) gift of medicines and medical equipments worth US$ 1 Million (ii) Gift of 1000MT of rice (iii) Gifting of Interceptor Boats worth USD 2 mn (iv) Transport vehicles worth USD 1 mn. India also extended a Line of Credit of USD 20 million for procurement of High Speed Interceptor Boats.

10. A request from the Government of the Union of Comoros regarding the construction of Mahatma Gandhi International Convention Centre in Moroni was discussed. The Government of India assured that India will give due consideration to this request including offering Lines of Credit in this regard. The issue of the development of the Union of Comoros was also discussed. The Government of India assured the Government of Union of Comoros of all possible help including lines of credit.

11. The Comorian side invited India to participate in the Donors’ Conference on Comoros to be held in December in Paris. They also expressed their desire to seek Indian Line of Credit for their airport extension.

12. The Vice President also addressed the Indian Diaspora on 10 October, 2019, and his address was received with enthusiasm.

13. Vice President’s programme included an address to the Comorian Parliament. Comoros will also be issuing a postal stamp on Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. India will establish a Vocational Training Centre in Moroni.

14. Vice President Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu thanked President Mr. Azali Assoumani for the warm hospitality extended to him and his delegation during their stay in Comoros and invited him to visit India. President Assoumani accepted the invitation. Dates would be finalized through diplomatic channels.

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