Hamid Ansari in Mali: Amid Pakistan strikes, India quietly bolsters anti-terror front with Africa

Amid headline-hogging strikes by India to hit back at Pakistan for the Uri massacre, thousands of miles away Vice-President Hamid Ansari engaged in quiet and effective diplomacy to forge a united front against terror with two key West African nations, including Nigeria and Mali. In Bamako, the capital of Mali, the vice-president outlined a template of mutual empowerment with the African continent by dovetailing India’s Africa policy with the vision of African resurgence crystallized in Agenda 2063.

In the first high-level visit from India to Mali, Mr Ansari pledged India’s unremitting support for the reconstruction and flowering of this nation of poets, scholars and musicians and underscored that New Delhi will work closely with Bamako to restore the glory of Timbuktu, which has been savagely assaulted and scarred by al-Qaeda in Maghreb militants.

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Ansari backs Mali’s reconstruction: ‘India’s ties with Africa not transactional’

India’s outreach to Francophone Africa has acquired a new ballast with the first high-level visit from New Delhi to the land-locked West African nation, home to scholars, musicians and historians.

India has strongly rallied in solidarity with Mali, the gritty West African nation ravaged by terrorism, but is determined to script its resurgence. In a defining speech at the National Assembly of Mali, Vice-President Hamid Ansari underscored key pillars of the burgeoning India-Africa partnership and pledged India’s unstinting support for the reconstruction of Africa’s seventh largest state. Mr Ansari underlined that India’s relations with Africa go beyond merely transactional partnership, but is rooted in emotive people-to-people connections, political solidarity and an emerging contemporary partnership animated by mutual resurgence. Here are key highlights/excerpts of Vice-President Hamid Ansari’s speech at Mali’s parliament on September 30:

In recent years we have sought to close the distance that separates us physically. We were happy to welcome His Excellency President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta when he participated in the 3rd India – Africa Forum Summit hosted by India in October last year. We value the contribution of Mali to the success of the Summit.

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