Mali to join hands with India in combating terrorism

NEW DELHI, Mar 4: Identifying terrorism as a “grave threat”, India and Mali have agreed to cooperate with each other at bilateral, regional and multi-lateral levels to combat the menace.

In a release after the two-day (March 2-3) visit of Union Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar to Mali, the External Affairs Ministry said today that the two countries also exchanged views on issues of common interest such as UN reforms, those related to development, South-South cooperation and promotion of renewable energy.

“Both parties identified terrorism as a grave threat to peace and prosperity and agreed to co-operate at a bilateral, regional and multi-lateral level to combat this menace,” the release said.

During his visit, Akbar, along with Foreign Minister of Mali Abdoulaye Diop, co-chaired the first ever Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) between the two countries during which he reiterated India’s commitment to the West African country’s geographical and ideological integrity and promised support to its sovereignty and territorial integrity, the ministry said.

On his part, Diop thanked India for its “generous” assistance of USD 0.5 million for the reconstruction of the world heritage site of Timbuktu.

India would be hosting the largest exhibition of Timbuktu manuscripts, titled ‘When Taj Mahal meets Timbuktu’, later this year, the ministry said.

The discussions reviewed the bilateral engagement between the countries in various sectors such as agriculture, energy etc. And laid out areas of future cooperation, particularly in security and technology.

Both the countries expressed satisfaction at the enhancement of bilateral relations and progress achieved in implementing the outcomes of Vice-President Hamid Ansari’s visit to Mali in September, 2016.

Akbar’s visit would be followed by a series of high-level visits from Mali to India, including those of the Minister of Culture and Minister of Investment Promotion and Private Sector of that country, the ministry said. (PTI)