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India, Tanzania Elevate Ties To Strategic Partnership; Agree On 5-Yr Roadmap For Defence Cooperation

In his media statement after the talks, Modi said both sides are also working on an agreement to increase trade in local currencies, and described Tanzania as a "valued partner" in the Indo-Pacific.

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Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan
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India and Tanzania on Monday elevated their ties to the level of strategic partnership, inked six pacts to boost cooperation in several key areas and agreed on a five-year roadmap to significantly expand defence engagement at talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan.     

In his media statement after the talks, Modi said both sides are also working on an agreement to increase trade in local currencies, and described Tanzania as a "valued partner" in the Indo-Pacific.

The prime minister said steps are being taken to adopt the success story of UPI in Tanzania and that both sides will continue to explore new opportunities to realise the full potential of the economic cooperation.

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President Hassan arrived here on Sunday on a four-day visit.

"Today is a historic day in the relations between India and Tanzania. Today we are tying our age-old friendship into a strategic partnership," Modi said in presence of Hassan.

"In today's meeting we identified several new initiatives, laying the foundation for this future strategic partnership. India and Tanzania are important partners of each other for mutual trade and investment," he said.

The six agreements firmed up at the talks will provide for cooperation in the digital domain, culture, sports, maritime industries and white shipping information sharing.

An India-Tanzania joint statement said both sides noted that the strategic partnership will help the two countries to jointly work on issues like maritime security, defence cooperation, development partnership, trade and investment, among others.

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It said the two leaders noted that the RBI has cleared the way for trade using local currencies that is Indian Rupee and Tanzanian Shilling by allowing the authorised banks in India to open Special Rupee Vostro Accounts of correspondent banks of Tanzania and that transactions using this mechanism have already materialised. 

"The two sides agreed to continue with the consultations in order to address any concerns so as to ensure sustainability of this arrangement," the statement said.

Modi said use of space and nuclear technology for public welfare was emphasised and both sides decided to move forward by identifying concrete initiatives in these important areas.

"After the African Union joined the G20 as a permanent member, for the first time we have got the opportunity to welcome any African head of state to India," Modi said.

On the defence roadmap, Modi said it will ensure new dimension of cooperation.

"In the field of defence, we have agreed on a five-year roadmap. Through this, new dimensions will be added in areas like military training, maritime cooperation, capacity building, and defence industry," he said.

The prime minister said India and Tanzania are "unanimous" that terrorism is the most serious security threat to humanity. "In this regard, we have also decided to increase mutual cooperation in the field of counter-terrorism."

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Modi also referred to the decision of IIT-Madras to open a campus in Tanzania's Zanzibar.

"It will become a hub of high quality education not only for Tanzania but also for students from regional countries. Technology is an important basis for the development journey of both the countries," Modi said.

"The agreement reached today on digital public goods sharing will strengthen our partnership," he said.

The prime minister also described Tanzania as India's largest and closest development partner in Africa and that both sides agreed to work together in the area of clean energy. 

"I am glad that Tanzania has decided to join the Global Biofuels Alliance launched by India at the G20 Summit. Today we discussed many global and regional issues," he said.

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"Additionally, Tanzania's decision to join the International Big Cat Alliance will enable us to strengthen global efforts to conserve big cats," he added.

The prime minister also underlined the need for mutual coordination to face challenges like maritime security, piracy and drug trafficking in the Indian Ocean region.

"As countries connected to the Indian Ocean, we emphasized on increasing mutual coordination to face challenges like maritime security, piracy, drug trafficking," he said.

The joint statement said the two sides agreed to enhance cooperation in maritime security in the Indian Ocean region and expressed satisfaction over the first ever India-Tanzania joint Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) surveillance exercise in July.

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It said the two leaders strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, whenever, wherever, and by whomsoever committed and the use of terrorist proxies for cross-border terrorism. 

They agreed that terrorism is one of the most serious threats to global peace, security and stability and must seriously be addressed, it said.

The statement said India and Tanzania agreed on the need for reform of the United Nations Security Council through expansion in both categories of membership.

-With PTI Input

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