India is steadfast in its commitment to provide support in all arenas to African countries, for fulfilling their aspirations for peace and stability in the region, said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday. Singh was addressing delegates from 43 African countries during India-Africa Defence Dialogue in Gandhinagar. The event was organised on the sidelines of DefExpo 2022.
He added that India is willing to work together with African countries in the areas of mutual interest. India’s defence and security partnership with the African continent will continue to be guided by our traditional goodwill towards African people. India does not believe in a hierarchical world order where few countries are considered superior to others. India’s international relations are guided by the very essence of human equality and dignity, which is a part of our ancient ethos, he said. “We do not believe in making or becoming a client or satellite state, and so, when we partner with any nation, it is on the basis of sovereign equality and mutual respect. Forging relations comes naturally to India, as we work towards mutual economic development,” he said.
“I am sure that you also share our belief that the global world order deserves to be democratised further. The world’s multilateral forums should be reflective of the change in global realities. In this regard, it is necessary to make the UN Security Council more representative which will give it greater legitimacy, thereby sustaining a global order in which the principles of international peace, security and order are respected universally,” he added.
India and African countries are important stakeholders in ensuring a safe and secure maritime environment, especially in the Indian Ocean Region, he said. “We work together in many regional mechanisms. These endeavours foster inclusive and constructive collaboration in dealing with shared security concerns and address common challenges to peace and prosperity,” he said. He added that over the years, India has contributed immensely to the United Nations peacekeeping operations in Africa. It is among the top three countries, contributing troops for UN peacekeeping, and has participated in most of the UN peacekeeping operations in the region. India has trained officers from several African countries at its military training institutions. “We have assisted in setting up of defence training institutions in some African countries. We have also extended counter-insurgency and training to many African partners, and organised multilateral field training exercises, like the AFINDEX-19. The next edition of this exercise is planned to be conducted in the First Quarter of the next year,” he said.
India remains united with African countries in their quest for peace, security, stability, growth and prosperity. India’s partnership with Africa is centred on the ten guiding principles articulated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his address to the parliament of Uganda in 2018.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had clearly stated that Africa will be at the top of India’s priorities, he said. DefExpo 2022, a defence industry exhibition is being held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat between October 18-22. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be inaugurating DefExpo 2022 in Gandhinagar on Wednesday.