India-Kenya to focus on defence, security cooperation: PM

Updated on : Jan 11,2017   6:20 pm

New Delhi, Jan 11 (IANS) India and Kenya on Wednesday held high-level discussions on common issues and agreed to focus on operationalisation of bilateral defence cooperation.

Speaking to media after the talks at Hyderabad House here between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Prime Minister Modi said: "We are also partnering to strengthen our security cooperation and capacities. We have directed the Joint Working Group to meet early.

"It would focus on cyber security, counter-terrorism, combating drugs, narcotics, human trafficking and money laundering."

The Kenyan President is paying a state visit to India from January 10 to 12.

Earlier during the day, Kenyatta was accorded a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan. President Pranab Mukherjee welcomed the visiting dignitary who was presented an impressive Guard of Honour on the Rashtrapati Bhavan forecourt.

Prime Minister Modi had paid a visit to Kenya on July 10-11 last year. During the visit, India and Kenya signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation.

Following Wednesday's talks here, Modi said some of the specific areas of priority would be hydrography, communications networks, anti-piracy, capacity building, exchanges and defence medical cooperation.

On the ongoing cooperation between the two nations in the field of Agriculture, Modi said: "The $100-million Line of Credit Agreement signed for agricultural mechanisation today (Wednesday) would open a new dimension of engagement. Long-term arrangement with Kenya for production and import of pulses is being explored and discussed."

Both nations will have broad-based cooperation in agriculture and food security, and will collaborate to raise agricultural productivity in Kenya.

On bilateral business opportunities, Modi said: "(We) will encourage, industry and business in both countries to take lead in exploiting opportunities in healthcare, tourism, information technology, agriculture, blue economy and energy."

He said: "The Joint Business Council meeting tomorrow (Thursday) will work to build commercial engagement through specific projects in these areas. To boost trade, we are also cooperating on trade facilitation measures, including standardisation and related areas."

Appreciating President Kenyatta's visit to the 8th Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, underway at Gandhinagar, Modi said: "Your participation in Vibrant Gujarat has generated a strong interest in Indian businesses to connect with commercial and investment opportunities in Kenya."

The Kenyan President, who is accompanied by several of his Ministers, arrived in India on January 10. He attended the inaugural session of the three-day Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2017 at Gandhinagar which was declared open by Modi on Tuesday.

The 8th edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit is being held in Gandhinagar from January 10 to 13.

--IANS

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