Vice president Hamid Ansari visited Morocco and Tunisia on a 3 day visit. The visit is important as India is trying to engage more with African countries. During the visit the vice president signed host of issues and discussed ways on as to how India can play an active role in Africa. The article deals with the visit and bilateral relations between 2 countries.
The relations with Morocco dates back to medieval India when a morocco traveller Ibn Battuta visited India and had been an ambassador at the court of Mohammad Bin Tughlaq.
India has very cordial bilateral relations with Tunisia and Morocco. Tunisia and Morocco are important source of phosphate for India. The economic cooperation between the two countries is deepening with Indian investments in phosphate sector.
The vice president lauded the efforts of Tunisian people who successfully transitioned to democracy without any violence. He also lauded the efforts of Tunisian government which has taken proactive steps in ensuring more women representatives in Tunisian parliament.
Tourism is one of the booming sectors that India and Tunisia can cooperate. A visa on arrival facility between both the country and mutual sharing of best practises as far as promotion of tourism is concerned is being worked out.
Tunisia and Morocco are two countries that have faced the brunt of extremist elements. India having fought with terrorism for decades can effectively cooperate with two countries in the field of ICT, data sharing, deradicalisation initiatives etc to reduce such incidents.
Tunisia also has large oil and gas reserves that are yet to be explored. A joint working group on oil and gas exploration has been constituted for the purpose and modalities are being worked out.
Cooperation between India and Africa is not just a necessity but an opportunity to realise the untapped potential. Having experienced colonialism and both having huge demographics India and Africa can walk together in several areas and reap the benefits of development.
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