India, Burundi exchange views on fight against piracy

New Delhi, Sep 18 (ANI): Asserting that India deeply appreciates Burundi's support for its candidature as a permanent member of the reformed and expanded United Nations Security Council, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said that he and visiting President Pierre Nkurunziza exchanged views on regional and global issues, including the fight against the common threat of piracy and the urgent need for reform of the United Nations.

"It's a great honour to welcome President Nkurunziza to India on his first state visit to India. India and Burundi enjoy warm and friendly relations. Our official exchanges, trade and investment linkages and people-to-people interactions are growing steadily," said Dr. Singh in his media statement during the state visit of President of the Republic of Burundi to India.

"Earlier today, President Nkurunziza and I reviewed our relations and we have agreed to further promote and expand our ties in an all-round manner," he added.

Dr. Singh further said the Memoranda of Understanding signed today in the fields of rural development, education, health and medicine will enable both countries to undertake structured cooperation in vital areas of human development, where India's experience can be of some relevance to Burundi.

Emphasizing that there is also great potential to further strengthen bilateral trade and investment relations, Dr. Singh said: " I requested President Nkurunziza to facilitate Indian investment in agriculture, infrastructure and manufacturing sectors in line with Burundi's national development goals and policies."

The Prime Minister said India has also contributed to the development of Burundi's human resources through the pan- African e-network project, training programmes and scholarships.

"Burundi will be hosting the India-Africa Institute of Educational Planning and Administration, a Vocational training Centre and Cluster of Biomass Gasifier Systems offered by India under the India-Africa Forum Summit initiative for capacity building and development," said Dr. Singh.

"India is also setting up an Information and Technology Centre of Excellence there. I hope these institutions will be operational soon and benefit not only our friends from Burundi, but the whole of Africa," he added.

Dr. Singh said India is committed to the development of infrastructure in Burundi.

"In addition to the US$ 80 million line of credit for the important Kabu hydroelectric project currently under operation, we have agreed to extend a new line of credit worth over US$ 40 million to Burundi for a farm mechanization and food processing project," he added.

The Prime Minister further pointed out that the present visit of President Nkurunziza has imparted a fresh impetus to our joint efforts to strengthen the bilateral relations. (ANI)