Mon, Feb 27, 2017 | updated 12:44 AM IST

India has a very focused approach to all regions of Africa, says Vice President Ansari

Updated: Sep 26, 2016 22:27 IST

Onboard Air India One, Sept. 26 (ANI): Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari has said that India is now pursuing a much focused approach to all the different regions of Africa, and his visit to Nigeria and Mali in West Africa was part of that approach.

Addressing the media onboard Air India Special Flight on way to a five-day visit to Nigeria and Mali, Vice President Ansari recalled an increase in high-level visits to Africa in the past one year, placing his visit within the context of sustained engagement with the 54 nations of the continent.

He mentioned that India had a long association with the continent, starting from the days of decolonization and that there is a natural sympathy and friendship which India receives in African countries. He further said that in any decision globally, whether in the United Nations or anywhere else, the weight of Africa is always felt.

Speaking on India's ties with Nigeria, the Vice President said that the country was the largest in Africa in terms of population, and that it carried significant weight in the region, and in international fora.

Its own objectives for the reform of the United Nations were not dissimilar to India's goals. In specific terms, India had a long standing strategic relationship with Nigeria, particularly in the defense field, for training and establishment of training institutions. On the economic side, Vice President Ansari said that India's ties with Nigeria were critical as about 12 percent of New Delhi's energy imports come from Nigeria.

With more than 100 Indian companies working in the country, including some of the biggest industrial houses, trade and investment was a key aspect of cooperation, and there was an expectation of a fruitful relationship for both countries.

The Vice President pointed out that the fact that the President of Nigeria had been invited twice as the Chief Guest for India's Republic Day celebrations was an indication of this political closeness.

On India's ties with Mali, the Vice President said that our government was keen to expand the engagement, given the vast potential for expanding our cooperation. He mentioned the strong development partnership between India and Mali and spoke of the successful implementation of three out of the four India assisted projects there. (ANI)

Washington D.C. [United States], Feb. 26 (ANI): Condemning the target of OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) monitors and the seizure of a SMM unmanned aerial vehicle by combined-Russian separatist forces, the United States on Sunday called on Russia to "immediately" observe the ceasefire in Ukraine under the Minsk agreements.

Full Story >>

Lahore [Pakistan] Feb. 26 (ANI): Pakistan has decided to strengthen the military operations across the Punjab province.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 26 (ANI): Terming the Democratic National Committee (DNC) elections as rigged, U.S. President Donald Trump has said that Sen. Bernie Sanders never had a chance to win as Hillary Clinton demanded former Labor Secretary of U.S.A Tom Perez.

Full Story >>

Geneva [Switzerland], Feb. 26 (ANI): Central Spokesman for Baloch Republican Party Mohammad Bugti, has said that the Pakistani Army's continuous military operation throughout the past week has set a new example of brutality in history.

Full Story >>

Islamabad [Pakistan], Feb. 26 (ANI): Following the crackdown launched by the Counter Terrorism Department of the Punjab Police and the Punjab Rangers in different parts of Layyah and Rawalpindi districts in Pakistan, around 600 suspects have been taken into custody.

Full Story >>

Islamabad [Pakistan], Feb. 26 (ANI): Pakistan has said that it has begun a negotiation mechanism with Afghanistan which will enable both nations to address each other's concerns over terrorism.

Full Story >>

London [U.K.], Feb. 26 (ANI): In a renewed push for independence from Baghdad, Iraqi Kurdish leaders are likely to offer territory seized by their forces in a bid to recapture Mosul from ISIS terrorists.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 26 (ANI): JK Rowling has never been one to mince words, especially when it comes to Donald Trump, and with the Kansas shooting grabbing eyeballs across the globe with an Indian engineer shot to death by a white man which is being touted as a hate crime, the legendary author has once again lashed out at the United States President over the tragic development.

Full Story >>

London [United Kingdom], Feb. 26 (ANI): Under new British Government guidelines for handling asylum applications, gay Afghans can be deported to their country, but, they will have to pretend that they are straight, as homosexuality is illegal in Afghanistan.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 26 (ANI): U.S. President Donald Trump has said he will not be attending the White House Correspondents` Association (WHCA) dinner this year, scheduled to be held on April 29.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 26 (ANI): The Trump administration should 'act as a champion of press freedom', rather than prosecute a war with mainstream US media that could 'send a signal to other countries that it is OK to verbally abuse journalists and undermine their credibility', a senior member of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said on Saturday.

Full Story >>

New York [USA], Feb. 26 (ANI): In a rare public spat between two Communist neighbours, North Korea has lashed out at China, without actually naming, accusing it of 'dancing to the tune of the U.S.' over its decision not to import any more coal from the country.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 26 (ANI): The former labor secretary of U.S.A., Tom Perez, is the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). His victory in Atlanta on Saturday saw him make history as the first Latino to lead the task of rebuilding the opposition to Republican President Donald Trump.

Full Story >>

Paris [France], Feb. 26 (ANI): Reproaching U.S. President Donald Trump after he commented on the dangers of terrorism in Paris, President of France François Hollande on Saturday reminded the former of the cardinal rule of diplomacy of not showing 'the least disapproval with respect to an ally', as reported by the New York Times.

Full Story >>

New York [USA], Feb. 26 (ANI): At least 32 people were killed and 24 others injured after several suicide attacks targetted two security centers in the central Syrian city of Homs, according to state media citing the city's Gov. Talal Barazi.

Full Story >>

Berlin [Germany], Feb. 26 (ANI): The driver, who manned the car that drove into the central square of the German city of Heidelberg, hitting three people outside a bakery, was shot after a brief standoff by the police.

Full Story >>

New Delhi[India], Feb. 25(ANI): Malaysian Police said they will conduct a sweep of the terminal at Kuala Lumpur's International Airport, where North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's exiled half-brother Kim Jong Nam was killed, to check for possible traces of the toxic chemical suspected to have been used in the attack.

Full Story >>

Islamabad [Pakistan], Feb.25 (ANI): Pakistan's Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan on Saturday said that the media can play a most crucial role in disseminating redible information to counter terrorism.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 25(ANI): President Donald Trump again escalated his attack against the media, saying the large sections of it had ignored the lowering of national debt in the first month of his tenure in office. He also hinted at going in for big tax and regulation cuts as his administration prepares its first budget proposal.

Full Story >>

Pakistan to host ECO Summit from March 1

Updated: Feb 25, 2017 20:07 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], Feb.25 (ANI): Pakistan will host the ECO Summit here on March 1, said the Prime Minister's Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Saturday.

Full Story >>