Saturday, August 29, 2015

African Union Chair Invited to India-Africa Summit
President Mugabe welcomes  Acting Indian Ambassador to Zimbabwe MR Rakshpaul Malhotra while Indian Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Colonel Rajyavardhan Rathore (centre) looks on at State House in Harare yesterday. - Picture by Tawanda Mudimu

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe Herald

President Mugabe has been invited to attend the Third India-Africa summit in October this year which brings together 54 countries and shares issues of common interest between the continent and the Asian country. He was invited in his capacity as African Union chairperson and will also be representing Zimbabwe.

India’s Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Mr Rajyavardham Rathore, delivered the message to President Mugabe at State House in Harare yesterday. Briefing journalists after a closed door meeting with President Mugabe, Minister Rathore said he had been sent by India’s Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, with an invitation to President Mugabe both as AU chair and President of Zimbabwe.

“I have come here to your great nation after I was sent by my Prime Minister. We are hosting an India-Africa summit on 29 October where we are inviting 54 countries. We feel that President Mugabe’s attendance as AU chairperson would be instrumental,” said Mr Rathore. He described the bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and India as cordial as the then prime minister, Indira Gandhi came to Harare at independence in 1980.

“We will take the friendship forward,” he said. Asked what the President’s response was to the invitation, Mr Rathore said: “He was generous and said he will be there and it will be an honour to have him,” he said. Mr Rathore said from Zimbabwe he will be delivering another message to Namibia.

Zimbabwe and India’s bilateral relations have also been enhanced in the area of sport, particularly cricket. Mr Rathore, a silver medallist in shooting, said his country had a lot to learn from Zimbabwe just as Harare could also learn from New Delhi on sport. He said there was need to strengthen rural facilities as part of deliberate effort to assist those in the countryside to realise their potential.

No comments: