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JOINT STATEMENT ON THE OCCASION OF THE VISIT TO UGANDA OF THE VICE PRESIDENT OF INDIA, Mr MOHAMMAD HAMID ANSARI FROM 21 - 23 FEBRUARY 2017

Friday, 24th February 2017
President Museveni welcomes the Vice President of India Mr M. Hamid Ansari to State House Entebbe

The Vice President of India, Mr Mohammad Hamid Ansari paid an official visit to Uganda from 21st to 23rd February 2017. The Vice President was accompanied by his spouse Mrs Salma Ansari and a delegation comprising Minister of State, Mr Vijay Sampla, four Members of Parliament, other Senior Government Officials and a business delegation.

Vice President Ansari met and held bilateral discussions with President of the Republic of Uganda Mr Yoweri Museveni, at State House, Entebbe on Wednesday 22nd February 2017. Vice President Ansari also met the Vice President of Uganda Mr Edward Ssekandi and Prime Minister Mr Ruhakana Rugunda. The Vice President addressed a business event jointly organised by the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda and Federation of India Chambers of Commerce and Industry. VP Ansari visited the Source of the Nile in Jinja and paid floral tribute at the bust of Mahatma Gandhi.

During the discussions, Vice President Ansari and President Museveni acknowledged the long-standing excellent historical relations that exist between Uganda and India. Both sides acknowledged the huge potential in India-Uganda bilateral relations and re-affirmed the mutual desire to strengthen economic, diplomatic, military, technical, educational, scientific and cultural cooperation between India and Uganda. In this regard, it was acknowledged that there were an estimated over 26000 persons of Indian origin in Uganda who contribute immensely towards Uganda's national economy.

India and Uganda noted that there was great potential for enhancement and expansion of mutual trade relations. President Museveni invited additional private sector investments from India, highlighting the progress achieved so far by the Indian community in a wide range of important sectors such as agro processing, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing.

Both sides noted that India had made tremendous strides in the development of its renewable energy capacity and therefore would be in position to enhance mutual cooperation in the energy sector. In this regard, Uganda was encouraged to become a signatory to the International Solar Alliance Treaty whose primary objective is to reduce global dependence on fossil fuels by working towards efficient exploitation of solar energy. Both sides also agreed to work together towards signing an MoU in the area of cooperation in renewable energy.

The two leaders acknowledged the significant role of Uganda for the maintenance of peace and stability in the Eastern African Region. Both sides acknowledged the growing cooperation between India and Uganda in defense matters, in particular the training of Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF) in various Indian Army training institutions under the Indian Technical and Economic Co-operation as well as the deployment of Indian Military Training Team in Uganda's Senior Command and Staff College in Kimaka.

The two sides agreed to encourage collaboration between India and Uganda in the area of ICT development. Uganda expressed its desire to replicate some of India's schemes for Digital Inclusion while implementing its Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) project and thanked India for deputing an ICT Expert in the Office of the Minister for ICT. India agreed to share its experience and expertise in this regard.

Vice President Ansari and President Museveni unequivocally condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and stressed that there can be no justification for any act of terrorism, irrespective of motivations, wherever and by whosoever committed. In this context, both sides underlined their shared concerns on the menace of terrorism and stressed the importance of international efforts to prevent and fight terrorism. The two leaders agreed that resolute and credible steps must be taken to eliminate safe havens and sanctuaries that provide shelter to terrorists and their activities.

India commended Uganda as the President of the 69th UN General Assembly, for steering the reform of the UN Security Council and in setting the stage for the commencement of text-based intergovernmental negotiations.Both sides underlined the need for urgent reforms of the UN Security Council and the importance of moving the reform process forward.

Vice President Ansari announced a gift from India to Uganda of medicines worth US$ 2 million and medical equipment worth US$ 1 million. President Museveni thanked the Indian Vice President for the kind offer that would help to address health needs in Uganda.

Vice President of India Mr M. Hamid Ansari thanked President of Uganda Mr Yoweri Museveni for the warm hospitality extended to him and his delegation during their stay in Uganda.

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