Thu, 05 Aug 2021

Nairobi [Kenya], June 14 (ANI): Noting that Africa's priorities would continue to be the paramount factor in bilateral cooperation, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday referred to the 'Big Four Agenda' of Kenya on manufacturing, affordable housing, universal health, and food security and underlined that India will further build upon its partnership taking these into account.

Jaishankar, who concluded a three-day visit to Kenya on Monday, co-chaired the third session of the Kenya-India Joint Commission meeting.

In a joint statement issued, the two countries said that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations is "a common threat to humanity."The statement said that as maritime neighbours, India and Kenya recognized the importance of ensuring through shared endeavors greater security, safety and prosperity of the Indian Ocean Region.

"They also noted that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations are a common threat to humanity. Therefore, they agreed that enhancement and sharing of capabilities and awareness were in mutual interest. The appropriate institutions of the two sides will explore expanding cooperation in this regard," the statement said.

The statement said that during the deliberations, the External Affairs Minister emphasized that India's approach was guided by the 10 principles of engaging Africa, enunciated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July 2018.

"Africa's priorities would continue to be the paramount factor in our bilateral cooperation. Accordingly, he recognized the Big Four Agenda of Kenya on Manufacturing, Affordable Housing, Universal Health and Food Security, and underlined that India will further build upon its partnership taking these into account," the statement said.

Jaishankar and his Kenyan counterpart Raychelle Omamo reiterated their strong commitment to South-South Cooperation and expressed confidence that their bilateral partnership would be an exemplar in that regard.

They also agreed to work together to enhance partnership in government and private sectors in several areas.

The two sides held extensive exchanges on global and regional issues including the security situation in the Indo-Pacific region and the Horn of Africa.

Both sides positively noted the mutual desire to expand bilateral cooperation under the Kenya- India Joint Commission Framework.

They also welcomed increased bilateral engagements either physically or virtually on issues of mutual interest amid travel challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two sides deliberated on the impact of the COVID-19 situation globally and called for joint efforts to combat the disease as well as consolidate economic collaboration during the pandemic and post-COVID period. They also stressed the need for equitable and affordable access to vaccines and ensuring treatment for all.

The two sides agreed that diversification of trade and new domains of cooperation would be in keeping with their closer partnership. India is one of Kenya's leading sources of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Kenya welcomed further investments from the Indian private sector, particularly in manufacturing, agro-processing, pharmaceuticals, automobile and affordable housing, according to the joint statement. Both sides welcomed the ongoing discussions on establishing joint ventures in pharmaceutical manufacturing and noted this will contribute to the increasing provision of affordable drugs.

The two sides agreed to explore areas of cooperation in the environment and forestry sector including green growth, forest resource management, solid and water waste management, climate-smart and agricultural value chains, as per the joint statement.

The Kenyan side also expressed appreciation for India's continued support in the education sector through the provision of scholarships, capacity-building courses and infrastructure development and India's commitment to consider increasing the number of scholarships offered to Kenya based on national priorities.

The two countries expressed satisfaction with their ongoing collaboration in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) during the 2021-2022 term.

They reaffirmed their commitment to a rules-based multilateral system and underlined the important role of the UN in addressing global challenges.

The delegations agreed that the fourth meeting of the Joint Commission will be held in India at a date to be agreed upon through diplomatic channels.

Jaishankar has been on an official visit to Kenya since June 12, where he has met several Kenyan ministers to outline key areas of bilateral cooperation. (ANI)

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