Dakar: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday termed Senegal as India’s “natural development partner,” and appreciated the African nation for its democratic ethos, as he held delegation-level talks with President of the National Assembly of Senegal Moustapha Niasse.
India and Senegal are celebrating the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations this year.
“During talks, Shri Naidu emphasised the important role of legislature in the life of a nation, and said that a strong, effective & responsive parliament lies at the core of good governance. He appreciated Senegal’s democratic ethos, making it India’s natural development partner,” Vice President’s official Twitter account tweeted.
Naidu arrived here on Wednesday on the second leg of his three-nation tour to Gabon, Senegal and Qatar.
Earlier in the day, he attended a reception hosted by the Indian community here, where he said that the Indian diaspora has created immense goodwill for the country.
Noting that there is a thriving Indian community in Africa, the Vice President said, “Through their achievements and contribution to Senegal’s development, the Indian diaspora has created immense goodwill for the country. They have, indeed, been true cultural ambassadors of India.” According to the website of the Indian Embassy in Dakar, Senegal has around 500 Indian community members.
Most of them are working for Indian companies, including those executing development projects under Lines of Credit extended by India. Some of them are running their own businesses.
Naidu on Thursday held wide-ranging talks with Senegalese President Macky Sall during which the two countries agreed to further strengthen cooperation in sectors like defence, agriculture, railways, health and energy.
As part of his ongoing visit to Africa, India and Senegal signed three MoUs pertaining to visa-free travel for officials, cooperation in youth matters and cultural exchange.
Naidu also addressed a gathering at the Universite Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD) (also known as the Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar) in Dakar.
“The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu addressed a gathering on the topic “Tiranga and Teranga – 60 years of diplomatic relations between India and Senegal” at the Universite Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD) in Dakar,” the VP Secretariat said in a tweet.
Speaking on the deep-rooted connection and friendship between India and Senegal, Shri Naidu said that “Peace, respect, receptivity and democratic ethos encapsulated in the Senegalese term of ‘Teranga’ are the foundational values that have brought India and Senegal together.” While Naidu’s visit is the first by any Indian vice president to all the three countries, it marks the first-ever high-level visit from India to Gabon and Senegal.