Vice President lauds Zimbabwe on free and fair elections

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New Delhi: The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has congratulated Zimbabwe for conducting free and fair elections recently. He was calling on the President of Zimbabwe, Mr. Mr. Emmerson Mnangagwa and later holding delegation level talks with the Vice President of Zimbabwe, Mr. Kembo Mohadi, in Harare, Zimbabwe today. The Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

During his interaction with the President of Zimbabwe, the Vice President said that India and Zimbabwe enjoy historic ties and we need to strengthen them to a much higher level. He thanked the Zimbabwe Government for signing the Frame Work Agreement on International Solar Alliance and requested them to ratify it at an early date .

Later, the Vice President met the Vice President of Zimbabwe, Mr. Kembo Mohadi and held delegation level talks.

The Vice President said that India will take up the establishment of the Mahatma Gandhi Convention Centre in Zimbabwe, as a grant assistance, keeping with our celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi this year.

The Vice President said that India is offering 8 slots for Zimbabwe defence personnel for training under ITEC for this year which is doubled the training slots from 4 last year to 8 this year. We should look at greater engagement particularly in the context of sourcing defence equipment from India, he said.

The Vice President said that India has consistently voiced the need to have a strong resolute response to terrorism and its manifestations and India is committed to working towards fighting and elimination of this menace. We need to work together, particularly at the United Nations and other multilateral fora to fight it, he added.

The Vice President said that India is extending another LOC of $310 million for extension of life of Hwange Thermal Plant, which is of priority to Zimbabwe. We also enhance the funds for two LOC projects pertaining to Thermal Plant Project at Bulawayo and Deka Pipe laying project for US$23 million and US$19 million, respectively to complete them on time , he said.

The Vice President said that three grants projects namely, Vocational Training Centre (VTC), up-gradation of Indo-Zim Technology Centre ($ 2.92 million), and supply of ten ambulances and life-saving drugs are in progress. India may also support Zimbabwe in development of Micro & Mini Grid, Smart Grids and Hybrid Renewable Energy Technologies, he said.

Later, both the Vice Presidents have witnessed the signing of 5 MoUs for the cooperation in the areas of Geology, Mining and Mineral Resources; Traditional Medicine and Homeopathy; Art, Culture and Heritate; Collaboration on Broadcasting; Visa Waiver Agreement for Diplomatic Passport holders; and one Action Plan on Information and Communication Technology.

Later in the Evening, the Vice President addressed the India Zimbabwe Business Forum meet and narrated the India’s growth story and the reforms that taking place. There are natural synergies between the two economies and we need to tap them for our mutual benefit, he said. Zimbabwean companies can take advantage of the high growth trajectory of the Indian economy, he further said. He urged the business community to consider investing in India.

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