NEW DELHI/TUNIS, Mar 1: India and Tunisia identified terrorism as the most dangerous menace to prosperity and international stability as Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar held bilateral talks with the top leadership of the North African country.
Akbar, who was on a 3-day visit to Tunisia from February 26-28, discussed all aspects of bilateral relations, and regional and global affairs of mutual interest.
Kbar met with President of the Republic Beji Caid Essebsi, Minister of Energy, Mining and Renewable Energy, Hela Cheikhrouhou, Sheikh Rached Ghannouchi, President of Ennahda Party and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Sabri Bachtobji.
“Both sides identified terrorism as the most dangerous menace to prosperity and the architecture of international stability,” an official statement said.
“The warmth during the meetings reflected the strong desire to build on the existing cordiality between Tunisia and India, the youngest democracy and the largest democracy, as well as the effort to coordinate on security cooperation and expand the relationship on an economic horizon to meet the aspirations of the people,” the statement said.
Akbar also held talks with Minister of Energy, Mining and Renewable Energy, HelaCheikhrouhou, which focused on strengthening the traditional co-operation in the mining sector and explored new avenues like pharmaceuticals, agriculture, information technology, biotechnology and renewable energy.
In his address to the business community organised by the apex chamber of commerce and industry (UTICA), the Minister stressed that it was the responsibility of the Government to become an enabler for the public and private sector businesses as they develop partnerships.
He also visited Tunisia-India Fertilizerproject (TIFERT), a USD 450 million joint venture between Tunisian and Indian companies.
He delivered a keynote address at the Tunisian Institute of Strategic Studies during which he described the core objective of India’s foreign policy saying, “Indians were determined to join the high table of prosperity and to challenge the threat to this aspiration – Terrorism. Indians understood that prosperity was impossible without peace.”
The visit underlines the importance that India attaches to expanding and deepening its relations with Tunisia.
Akbar is on a 3-nation Africa tour. He would be visiting Mali from March 2-4 for holding the first-ever Joint Commission Meeting with the country and Republic of Congo for official bilateral discussions from March 5-6. (PTI)