Focus Africa: In his first overseas visit, Rajnath Singh heads to Mozambique

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Published: July 26, 2019 7:33:55 PM

In his first overseas visit as a defence minister Rajnath Singh will be heading to African nation Mozambique.

During his two day visit from July 28-30, the defence minister will meet with his counterpart Atanasio M’tumuke.

In his first overseas visit as a defence minister Rajnath Singh will be heading to African nation Mozambique.

During his two day visit from July 28-30 the defence minister besides having a meeting with his counterpart Atanasio M’tumuke, will also have talks with the President, Foreign Minister and Interior Minister of Mozambique during the visit.

According to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) the two sides will ink three MoUs/Agreements in the fields of an exclusive economic zone surveillance, sharing of white shipping information and hydrographic surveying of Mozambique waters.

The two sides will also review the progress on the earlier agreements between the two countries. India has assured an increase in training of the Mozambican Defence Armed Forces Personnel, as well as assistance for upgrading equipment, military medical facilities, for English training of the personnel.

Accompanied by Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra and other senior officials of the Ministry of Defence and External Affairs, Singh will be handing over to Mozambique two fast interceptor boats and 44 SUVs.

India has been trying to deepen its maritime cooperation with the African continent in an effort to keep the oceans open and free which would benefit all. This is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) and SAGARMALA (port development) initiatives, the AAGC (Asia Africa Growth Corridor), where Africa as an equal partner is potentially a game-changer in the Indian Ocean Region.

There is growing naval cooperation between the two sides as there are regular port visits, transfer of hardware and logistical support, naval intelligence, and patrolling of Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) which are being undertaken on a regular basis.

The Information Fusion Center, based in Gurugram helps to track and monitor shipping traffic in the Indian Ocean, and helps in coordinating incident responses, and share submarine safety information.

While the African continent has been a significant beneficiary of Indian Navy’s HADR missions, earlier this year in the aftermath of ‘Cyclone Idai’, in the port city of Beira, Mozambique, caused huge destruction.

Indian Navy was the first to send its three ships — INS Sujatha, INS Shardul, and INS Sarathi — which were already in the region to render assistance. The Indian Navy was the ‘first responder’ to the disaster.

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