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'Cheetah' emerged as new symbol of India-Namibia friendship: Jaishankar
Windhoek: Upon conclusion of his Namibia visit, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar highlighted that Project Cheetah has emerged as a "new symbol of friendship between India and Namibia."
Jaishankar noted that shared political struggles of many decades, the challenge of preparing for a more contemporary world, the promise of technology, the excitement of common training and shared experiences are among the things that bind India and Namibia together in many ways. "There is so much today that binds India and Namibia together and in many ways, perhaps an agile, fast-moving animal that is equally comfortable in both societies is an appropriate symbol of what awaits us in the future," Jaishankar said after ending his Namibia visit.
He also said, "The relocation of Namibian Cheetas to the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh obviously stirred a lot of interest in India. But equally, as I discovered going to Namibia, it has been very much in the public discourse of that country as well."
Jaishankar added that the mainstay of every relationship is the people to people contact. There is a deep interest in Indian arts and culture, a sense that the two countries are today moving forward to develop and nurture our traditions and heritage.
"Trade and investments have grown steadily, trade levels now approaching almost USD 300 million. And where investments are concerned, the presence of 22 Indian companies dealing with diamonds, who today impart training and skills to Namibians as part of their business model, is something that India has reasons to be proud of," the EAM said.
Jaishankar also held conversations on the International Year of Millets, which according to him were "so personally driven by Prime Minister Modi."
Namibia too has not just a tradition of consuming millet, but actually imports Bajara from India from time to time. So how to increase production and consumption was an important conversation with possibilities for the future, he said.
"There are both army and Air Force teams present in Namibia who have supported the operations of the Namibian Defense Forces in different ways. And we look forward to India's export capabilities in defence finding resonance in this country," the External Affairs Minister said.
Jaishankar's visit to African countries, South Africa and Namibia were held from June 1 to June 6.
Notably, India and China are developing their engagements with Africa proactively.
While China has been in Africa's infrastructure, mining, oil and natural gas sectors for many years, despite moving late, India has worked through training, education and capacity-building programmes - which have been very well-received by the countries.
Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved the opening of 18 new Indian Missions in Africa over a four-year period from 2018-2021. This move is seen as a major boost to India-Africa relations. (ANI)