The visit holds importance for India as it indicative of the growing defence ties between the African nation and India and in enhancing security in the Indian Ocean Region.
To further strengthen strategic ties with Mozambique where India has major investments, 44 SUVs and two Fast Interceptor Boats (FIBs) were gifted to that country which would boost safety and security of that country’s police force and their Navy. India has also agreed to help that country in its fight against terrorism and radicalisation.
This was Singh’s first visit overseas as defence minister and the first-ever visit of a defence minister of India to Mozambique, and he was accompanied by a high-level delegation including Defence Secretary, DG, Coast Guards and senior officials of Ministries of Defence and External Affairs.
The visit holds importance for India as it indicative of the growing defence ties between the African nation and India and in enhancing security in the Indian Ocean Region. And in Mozambique, India has sizeable economic investments in various sectors including energy and coal. It is also one of the country’s which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited during his four nation African tour in 2016.
At the end of talks between Singh and Prime Minister of Mozambique Carlos Agostinho do Rosario, the two sides inked two MoUs –including an agreement on sharing white shipping information and co-operation in the field of Hydrography. Both these agreements will further strengthen defence co-operation between the two countries.
Wide range of bilateral issues including government-to-government relations, business exchanges, growing development partnership, and people-to-people links between the two countries were reviewed.
Singh had delegation-level talks with his counterpart Atanasio Salvador M’tumuke also and announced government’s assistance for communication equipment for Mozambique’s defence forces. He also highlighted the importance of working together to fight against terrorism, piracy, and overall co-operation maritime cooperation.
Mozambique has also sought co-operation from India to deal with the growing menace of terrorism and radicalisation and Singh assured co-operation and reiterated India’s commitment to work together in this regard.
During his visit Singh also handed over two made in India Fast Interceptor Boats (FIBs) to Mozambique Naval Headquarters. The certificate for handing over was inked by the Director General, Coast Guards of India and Chief of Mozambican Navy in the presence of Singh.
A four-member ICGS team will assist with training and support for maintenance and operation of the two boats, which will be used for coastal surveillance.
India’s timely and valuable assistance in the aftermath of Cyclone IDAI was also mentioned during talks with various leaders in that country as India was the first responder.