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India, Nigeria discuss bilateral ties, resolve to strengthen cooperation in defence, trade

India, Nigeria discuss bilateral ties, resolve to strengthen cooperation in defence, trade

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New Delhi [India], September 2 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday held talks with his Nigerian counterpart Geoffrey Onyeama and acknowledged the excellent long-standing, multifaceted and strategic bilateral ties between the two countries, based on mutual friendship and cooperation.
Jaishankar and his Nigerian counterpart Geoffrey Onyeama held a wide-ranging discussion on the entire gamut of India-Nigeria bilateral relations, via video conferencing.
According to an official release, the discussions covered a wide spectrum of cooperation on political, economic and trade, defence and security, developmental assistance and cultural cooperation.
Both sides recalled their extensive cooperation in the field of defence training and capacity building and expressed satisfaction that it was expanding to newer areas such as defence equipment support, medical and maintenance services, sharing of R&D expertise for counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency.
The two Ministers noted that the next meeting of the Joint Defense Cooperation Committee will be held later this year in Abuja.
The two Ministers acknowledged ongoing collaborative efforts through information sharing between the Indian and Nigerian Navies and increase of surveillance for Maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, though collaboration between Indian and Nigerian Navies.
"With a bilateral trade turnover of USD 13.9 billion in 2019-20, India is Nigeria's largest trading partner, and Nigeria is India's largest trading partner in Africa. Nigeria is a leading energy security partner of India, and both sides agreed to strengthen their cooperation in this sector including at Government to Government level," the official release states.
"Both sides also agreed to expand cooperation in Information Technology (IT), Defense and solar energy projects to be executed through the Indian Line of Credit (LoC). Both parties reiterated their commitment to conclude pending MoU's /Agreements between the two countries expeditiously," the release further added.
Moreover, the Nigerian side expressed appreciation to India for the recent donation of medical supplies in support of the on-going fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, the two sides agreed to further strengthen cooperation in Consular matters and the desire to conclude on bilateral agreements in the field of Mutual Legal Assistance, Extradition Treaty and the Transfer of Sentenced Persons.
Lastly, both sides thanked each other for facilitating essential travel by their respective citizens and residents over the last two months, including the return of over 5800 Indian nationals to India on 23 flights from Nigeria, and over 500 Nigerian and 1500 permanent Indian residents on 8 flights from India. (ANI)

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