Hon’ble RM, Shri Rajnath Singh (RM) visited Maputo, Mozambique from July 28-30, 2019. This was RM’s first ever visit as the Defence Minister of India to Mozambique. This was also RM’s first visit abroad as the Defence Minister of India after the assumption of office. He was accompanied by a high level official delegation including Defence Secretary, DG, Coast Guards and senior officials of Ministries of External Affairs and Defence.
On arrival, RM was accorded Guard of Honour at the Mozambican Army Head Quarters on the 28th afternoon. In the evening, RM addressed a gathering of Indian Diaspora and interacted with the community.
On 29th morning, RM called on H.E. Mr. Carlos Agostinho do Rosario, the Prime Minister of Mozambique. PM thanked India for timely and valuable assistance in the aftermath of cyclone IDAI, underlining that India was the first responder in the hour of crisis. RM met Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, H.E. Jose Pacheco, who warmly recalled his visit to India last year for 4th Joint Commission Meeting and expressed satisfaction at the enhanced political engagement between our two countries. RM also met his counterpart H.E. Mr. Atanasio Salvador M’tumuke and held delegation-level talks with him. After the talks, an elaborate ceremony was held at Mozambican Naval Headquarters to hand over two India-made Fast Interceptor Boats (FIBs) to Mozambique. The handing over certificate was signed by the Director General, Coast Guards of India and Chief of Mozambican Navy. A 4-member ICGS team is also assisting with training and support for maintenance and operation of the two boats. Mozambican Defence Minister expressed gratitude for India’s support for Mozambican Defence Forces, in particular, for the boats being used for coastal surveillance. A dinner was hosted by Defence Minister of Mozambique in honour of RM.
RM discussed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations while meeting the Mozambican leaders and noted the excellent Government-to-Government ties, strong business exchanges, vibrant development partnership, and long-standing people-to-people links between the two countries.
Mozambique sought cooperation from India to deal with the growing menace of terrorism and radicalisation. RM assured cooperation and reiterated commitment to work together in this regard. Defence Minister of Mozambique briefed RM on the internal security situation and the ongoing Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration (DDR) process. RM conveyed best wishes for the ongoing peace process.
RM announced assistance of communication equipment and highlighted the importance of working together to prevent non-traditional threats like smuggling, terrorism, piracy, poaching, etc. and overall cooperation in the maritime domain.
RM and Defence Minister of Mozambique signed two MoUs on sharing white shipping information and cooperation in the field of Hydrography between Government of India and Government of the Republic of Mozambique. The signing of the two MoUs will further strengthen the ongoing Indo-Mozambican Defence cooperation. The RM’s visit witnessed the growing defence cooperation between Mozambique and India, and the potential such collaboration offers for enhancing security in the Indian Ocean Region.
On behalf of India, RM gifted 44 SUVs to the Minister of Interior, H.E. Jaime Basilio Monteiro. The SUVs are expected to boost safety and security of the Mozambican police forces. During the handing over ceremony, Minister of Interior expressed gratitude towards India’s grant assistance to National Criminal Investigation Agency.
India shares close, warm and friendly relations with Mozambique which are cemented by robust development partnership and a large presence of the Indian Diaspora. The visit of RM is expected to further strengthen relations with Mozambique.
The visit was concluded in warm and cordial manner.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Ministry of External Affairs – Government of India.