India, Kenya to deepen security ties

India and Kenya on Monday decided to deepen and expand cooperation in a wide range of areas as they signed seven pacts, including in the field of defence and security and avoidance of double taxation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after his talks with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta here, also announced extension of a concessional Line of Credit (LoC) of $44.95 million to the African nation to help it in the development of small and medium enterprises and textiles.India will also build a cancer hospital in Kenya to provide quality and affordable healthcare.

“The multifaceted development partnership is a key pillar of our bilateral relationship,” Mr. Modi said at a joint media interaction with Mr. Kenyatta after the talks. The Prime Minister said Mr. Kenyatta and he had “agreed that terrorism and radicalisation are common challenges for our two countries, the region and the whole world. We have agreed to deepen our security partnership including in fields of cyber security, combating drugs and narcotics and human trafficking.”

The MoU on Defence Cooperation signed will entail staff exchanges, expertise sharing, training, cooperation in hydrography and equipment supply.

Mr. Modi said the two countries shared common interest in the security, including in maritime security, since they were connected by the Indian Ocean. Closer cooperation in the field of maritime security occupies an important place in our defence and security engagement,” he said. Announcing that India would fully finance a cancer hospital in Kenya, Mr. Modi said it would not only benefit the Kenyan society with quality and affordable healthcare but also help India become a regional medical hub.

Besides MoUs in defence and security, revised pact on avoidance of double taxation and two LoCs, the other agreements were in the fields of visa and housing. “India is Kenya’s largest trading partner, and the second largest investor here. But, there is potential to achieve much more,” said Mr. Modi, on the final day of his Kenya visit, that marks the end of his four-nation African tour.

Time-tested bond, says PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday offered India’s expertise to Kenya to help it fulfil its developmental priorities, in the sectors it chose and the speed it preferred. “We [India and Kenya] have a thriving economic and commercial relationship. But, it is not a temporary or transactional relationship. It is a time-tested bond, built on the foundation of shared values and shared experiences,” he said addressing a banquet hosted in his honour by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. Mr. Modi noted that both India and Kenya had young populations and both cultures value education. “Now is the time for skill development,” he said, quoting a Swahili proverb “Elimubilaamali, kamantabilaasali,” which means “knowledge without practice is like wax without honey.”

Mr. Modi said: “We can also unite our efforts with other developing countries, not just for the well-being of the weak and the poor, but also to help preserve our Mother Earth.”

Source: The Hindu