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India Hosts ‘Historic’ India-Africa Forum Summit with 53 African Nations Represented

Oct. 28, 2015 (EIRNS)—The four-day meeting of the India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) ended today in New Delhi with a meeting of 19 heads of state. According to IAFS coordinator Syed Akbaruddin, the fact that the summit included representatives of all 53 African nations "is unprecedented in the annals of any summit between Africa and any other country." Nothing like this has happened in India since the Non-Aligned summit thirty years ago.

The gathering focussed on increasing strategic cooperation between India and Africa, expanding trade and industrial exchange, working toward the common aim of reducing poverty on both continents. Discussion also centered on such issues as counter-terrorism, defense cooperation, and anti-piracy operations, The India Express reported today. Several African nations are under siege from terrorist groups Boko Haram, ISIS, and Al Shabab, and urgently seek cooperation in fighting them. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta warned that both India and Kenya are victims of terrorism, and added that New Delhi and Nairobi should widen anti-terrorism and security cooperation.

India is also seeking support for its effort to reform the UN Security Council.

Prior to the heads-of-state meeting today, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also held bilateral meetings with each of the 19 heads of state, according to The BRICS Post. The participation of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi was seen as particularly important. His spokesman, Alaa Yousseff, said in Cairo, Oct. 26, that the President will be seeking greater economic cooperation with India, especially in terms of Delhi’s investment in the New Suez Canal, as well as other investment opportunities.

"Sisi appreciates the close historical bilateral relations between the two countries. Both are interested in developing the relations and building on it,"

Yousseff said. El-Sisi was scheduled to meet with Indian President Mukherjee, Modi, and many other government officials and businessmen.