India and Kenya cement defence ties to beef up security in Indian Ocean region

IANS Photo

IANS Photo

New Delhi, December 5 (IANS): Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kenya President William Ruto on Tuesday held discussions on strengthening defence ties between the two countries in order to strengthen maritime security and jointly combat piracy, drug trafficking and terrorism in the Indian Ocean region.

The growing co-operation between India and Kenya in the field of defense is a symbol of our deep mutual trust and common interests, PM Modi said after the meeting.

“In today's discussion, we emphasised on holding joint military exercises, capacity building as well as linking the defense industries of both the countries. As countries connected to the Indian Ocean, maritime security, piracy and drug trafficking are matters of our common priority,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister said to strengthen mutual cooperation in this “important area” a joint vision statement on maritime cooperation was also being issued

“Close cooperation between Kenya and India will strengthen all our efforts in the Indo-Pacific,” Modi said.

"I am confident that President Ruto's visit to India will not only strengthen bilateral ties but will give a new momentum to our engagement with Africa," he said.

India and Kenya are of the view that terrorism is the most serious challenge facing humanity and both sides have decided to enhance counter-terror cooperation, Modi added.

As part of the growing economic engagement between the two countries, India has agreed to provide USD 250 million as Line of Credit to Kenya to help the country modernise its agriculture sector.

India also agreed to share its successful experience in space technology with Kenya and harness it for public welfare.

“With this commitment and spirit of friendship, we will continue our efforts to increase our cooperation in all fields,” Modi added.

Modi also highlighted the fact that clean energy is the main priority of both the countries and pointed out that Kenya had taken the very commendable step for organising the Africa Climate Summit.

It also reflects President Ruto's commitment to unitedly address all global challenges, he added.

“I am glad that Kenya has decided to join the Global Biofuels Alliance and the International Solar Alliance. Additionally, Kenya's decision to join the International Big Cat Alliance will help us strengthen global efforts to conserve big cats,” the Prime Minister said.

PM Modi said that India is ready to share its knowhow and achievements in the digital public infrastructure with Kenya to help the country.

He also said the approximately 80,000 people of Indian origin who consider Kenya as their second home are the biggest strength of the relations between the two countries.