ISA summit: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today held bilateral talks with the Presidents of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Seychelles on key issues, including developmental cooperation, besides holding parleys with leaders from 12 other countries on the sidelines of the solar alliance meet. Apart from meeting Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Bangladeshi President Abdul Hamid, Modi held talks with leaders from the UAE, Seychelles, Comoros, Guyana, Fiji, Djibouti, Somalia, Mali, Rwanda, Australia, Burkina Faso, Togo and Gabon. “Neighbourhood first! PM @narendramodi met Sri Lankan President, Maithripala Sirisena, on his 5th visit to India as President, on the sidelines of the #ISA.
Leaders exchanged views on developmental cooperation, among other areas of bilateral cooperation,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted. In his meeting with Hamid, Prime Minister Modi discussed connectivity, developmental cooperation, among other issues, he said. Most of Modi’s bilateral meetings were with leaders of African countries. “There was certainly a feeling among all the African heads (leaders) he (Modi) had met that our engagement with Africa has increased exponentially in the last three years,” T S Tirumurti, Secretary (Economic Relations) in the MEA, told reporters. Asked about what issues were discussed with the African leaders, Kumar said the thrust was on capacity building.
“We offered our help and assistance to them. The focus (during the talks on) was on climate change, renewable energy, solar technology and development cooperation. We have significant development cooperation with most of the African countries. There was discussion on how to take that forward,” Kumar said. Modi’s first bilateral meeting of the day was with the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court, Sheikh Hamed Bin Zayed Bin Al Nahyan. On the sidelines of the founding conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), the two leaders discussed trade and investment, energy, food security, among other issues of bilateral interest, Kumar said.
In his bilateral meetings with Fiji Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, Seychelles President Danny Faure and Comoros President Azali Assoumani, Modi discussed cooperation in the areas of capacity building, climate change and developmental cooperation. Modi also met Guyanese President David Arthur Granger and discussed ways to step up cooperation with the Caribbean nation. “Historical linkages with a friend from the Caribbean! PM @narendramodi met President of Guyana, David Arthur Granger on the sidelines of the #ISA. Climate change, renewable energy, trade and investment, capacity building and developmental cooperation were discussed,” Kumar tweeted.
On the sidelines of the conference, he also held talks with Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh, Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Somalia’s Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Mohamed Guled. Modi later met Mali President Ibrahim Baoubacar Keita. Countering terrorism was the focus of discussion during the meeting between the two leaders, Kumar said. In the evening, Modi met Burkina Faso President Rock Marc Christian Kabore. They discussed counter-terrorism, renewable energy, and developmental cooperation. Modi also met Governor General of Australia Peter Cosgrove. “On sidelines of the #ISA, PM @narendramodi and Governor General of Australia, Sir Peter Cosgrove had a meeting. Deepening democratic values and Countering terrorism were the focal points of discussion,” Kumar tweeted along with a picture of the two leaders. After that meeting, Modi met Gabon President Ali Bongo Ondimba. The two leaders shared their views on cooperation in energy, trade, investment and developmental support, Kumar said. Late evening, Modi also met Togo President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe and discussed trade, developmental cooperation and education, he said.