Ministry of External Affairs of the Republic of India

08/03/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/03/2019 03:12

Transcript of Media Briefing by Secretary (ER) during State Visit of President to Guinea (August 02, 2019)

Director (XPD), Dr. Venkatachalam Murugan: Good afternoon friends, it's a pleasure to meet you again. To brief you we have Secretary (ER), Shri T S Tirumurti, Shri R Ravindra, Jt. Secretary MEA, then we have Ambassador of India, Shri Sailas Thangal and Deputy Press Secretary to the President, Shri Nimish Rustagi.

Secretary (ER), Shri T S Tirumurti: Good afternoon to all of you and thank you once again for coming.

The Hon'ble President of India is currently on a State Visit to the Republic of Guinea as the third leg of his visit to West Africa. The President of India is accompanied by the Hon'ble Minister of State Shri Pratap Chandra Sarangi, Hon'ble Member of Parliament, Shri Dileep Ghosh and senior officials.

This is the first ever visit of the President of India to the Republic of Guinea and a historic visit. Yesterday, Hon'ble Rashtrapati Ji was received by His Excellency Prof. Alpha Conde, President of the Republic of Guinea at the airport which was followed by a ceremonial welcome.

Today, the two leaders had a tete-a-tete after which they had delegation level talks. The talks were extremely warm and cordial reflecting the close bilateral ties between the two countries.

President Alpha Conde expressed his delight at Hon'ble Rashtrapati Ji's visit to Guinea and his keenness to take India-Guinea relations to the next level. He recalled historical ties of India with Africa particularly role of Mahatma Gandhi. He conveyed that India-Guinea and India-Africa relations have tremendous potential. He particularly welcome the opening of Indian Embassy to the Republic of Guinea and recalled that it was he who took the initiative to open the Embassy of Guinea in New Delhi in 2012.

President Conde welcomed Indian participation and partnership in a variety of fields particularly mining, agriculture, infrastructure, social housing and tourism. He underlined that the state to state partnership and assistance should be underpinned by investment by the business community. He welcomed India's investment in Guinea particularly in mining, agriculture, infrastructure etc.

He also pointed to the high importance that he has given to the renewable energy including solar energy. President Conde outlined the presidential initiative he has undertaken in agri-business where he invited Indian business to invest given the prowess of Indian business in agriculture technology and best practices.

He recalled that the Smart Africa Conference next year will be held in Guinea and invited Indian companies particularly in IT to participate actively.

Hon'ble Rashtrapati Ji mentioned that he was on his first ever visit to the Republic of Guinea and thanked his counterpart for the warm welcome and hospitality. He expressed his appreciation for the leadership role of President Conde both for the Guinea and for the African Continent. He appreciated President Conde for steering the country during the Ebola crisis and for providing stable democracy to the Republic of Guinea.

He appreciated the role played by President Conde as the Chair of the African Union in 2017 and as the current chair of the African Renewable Energy Initiative. Hon'ble President recalled the successful visit of the President Conde to India in 2015 for the India-African Forum Summit - III and the meetings between President Conde and Hon'ble Prime Minister of India on several occasions. He also referred to the visit of the Prime Minister of Guinea to India in March earlier this year for the EXIM Bank CII Business Conclave.

Hon'ble President of India announced that India would be happy to extend a line of credit of $170 million for water related projects in Guinea. He expressed satisfaction about the progress of work on the earlier lines of credit extended to Guinea including for two regional hospitals.

India will also be extending the pan-African e-Vidhyabharati Aarogyabharati tele-education and tele-medicine initiative to Guinea as well. He reassured the President of the Republic of Guinea that Indian companies remain interested in investing in Guinea.

Both leaders condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. President Conde particularly highlighted that contribution of Guinea to peacekeeping in Africa in the context of Male since terrorist incident could potentially spill over into Guinea also. He underlined the importance of security cooperation between the two countries and sought India's assistance in this context.

Hon'ble Rashtrapati Ji thanked President Conde for his support to the Indian community in Guinea and referred to them as 'living bridge' between India and Guinea. President Conde appreciated the role and contribution of the Indian community in Guinea towards their economic development.

Both leaders underlined the importance of supporting the youth of Guinea and creation of employment opportunities. In this context they underlined the importance of extending capacity building and training to Guinea in priority sectors.

President Conde appreciated India's role in capacity building and education for Africa. India conveyed its appreciation for the support of Guinea for Indian candidature in various international organizations including the United Nations. Guinea also conveyed support for India's candidature for the India's non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council for 2021-22.

The following agreements were signed in front of the two leaders.

1 - Agreement on Cooperation in Traditional Medicines

2 - Agreement on Cooperation in New and Renewable Energy and

3 - Agreement on e-Vidhyabharati Aarogyabharati tele-education and tele-medicine project.

Hon'ble Rashtrapati Ji invited President Conde to pay a visit to India at a mutually convenient time. This evening President Conde will be hosting a dinner banquet in honor of Rashtrapati Ji and tomorrow the Hon'ble Rashtrapati Ji will also be addressing the Indian community in Guinea. Thank you.

Director (XPD), Dr. Venkatachalam Murugan:Thank you Sir for this detailed account of the historic visit. I hope this will be useful for your future reference also. Now I request Shri Nimish Rustagi, Deputy Press Secretary to the President to make his remarks.

Deputy Press Secretary to the President, Shri Nimish Rustagi:There is nothing really to add after Secretary's extensive briefing. I would only reiterate that President Kovind is extremely happy with the visit to West Africa including Guinea. He had extremely fruitful discussions with President Alpha Conde and he is the first ever president of India to visit Guinea. He appreciates the warmth and affection shown by the people of Guinea to him and to his entire delegation. And as Secretary mentioned that President invited President Alpha Conde to visit India at a mutually convenient time. That's all from my side. Thank you.

Director (XPD), Dr. Venkatachalam Murugan:As there are no questions we conclude this briefing. Thank you.