India and Somalia today signed an agreement for transfer of sentenced prisoners after a meeting between their foreign ministers who discussed the entire gamut of bilateral relations, including the issues of piracy and maritime security. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Minister of Somalia Yusuf-Garaad Omar, who arrived here yesterday on a five-day visit, also held talks on regional issues pertaining to developments in Gulf region and India’s neighbourhood, a ministry release said.
“An Agreement for Transfer of Sentenced Persons between India and Somalia was also signed,” it said. Signing the agreement with Somalia will facilitate the Indian inmates imprisoned in Somalia or vice-versa to be near to their families, for serving remaining part of their sentence and shall facilitate their social rehabilitation. Omar also held a meeting with Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar.
“The entire gamut of India-Somalia bilateral relations including issue of piracy and maritime security were discussed between the two sides during the meetings,” the release added. According to the MEA, the Indian Navy has been involved in anti-piracy patrolling in the Gulf of Aden since 2008. India is also a member of the UN Contact Group on Piracy off the coast of Somalia, it said. Trade is also an important component of bilateral ties. During 2014-15, India-Somalia trade was USD 391.05 million showing more than 51 per cent increase over the figure of USD 257.27 million during 2013-14, according to the ministry data.