Top Indian diplomat visits Zanzibar to cement ties

INDIAN State Minister for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri V. Muraleedharan, arrives today for an official visit to Zanzibar.

During his visit, the Minister will meet the President of Zanzibar and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council, Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, at the State House where various issues of bilateral cooperation will be discussed.

He will also hold talks with the Isles Minister of Education and Vocational Training, Lela Muhamed Mussa and later visit the Zanzibar campus’ of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Madras) at Bweleo.

This is the second official visit to be made by a high-ranking official from the Indian government in the past five months.

Indian External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar visited Zanzibar in July 2023, where he called on the Isles President, Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, at the State House.

He witnessed the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up the first ever campus of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras outside India between the Government of Zanzibar and the Government of India.

The minister also attended a reception onboard Indian Naval Ship Trishul, that saw the presence of the President of Zanzibar.

He also visited the Kidutani water supply project, funded by Government of India line of credit. The project will provide drinking water to 30,000 households in Zanzibar.

He thereafter visited Dar es Salaam and called on Union President Dr. Samia Suluhu Hassan and co-chaired the 10th India-Tanzania Joint Commission Meeting with Dr. Stergomena Tax, the then Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation.

He also met with the members of the Parliamentary Friendship Group for India that has been set up in the National Assembly of Tanzania and inaugurated the bust of Swami Vivekananda at the ‘Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre’ in Dar es Salaam.

Zanzibar is India’s key maritime neighbour in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and Tanzania occupies a special place in Prime Minister’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region).

India was one of the first countries to recognize the independence of Zanzibar and its new government after 12th January 1964 Revolution and later in 1974 India decided to open a fully fledged consulate in Zanzibar.

The two sides have also excellent cooperation in the field of health, education and capacity building as students of Zanzibar goes to India to pursue higher education.

For 2023/2024 academic year, 31 students under ICCR scholarships and 140 students have been admitted in the Indian institution of higher learning to pursue studies.

This visit is expected to further solidify the common cultural and historical legacy of the two countries, which forms the foundation of the special partnership between India and Zanzibar.

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