India, Japan hold talks with African Union

New Delhi: India and Japan explored areas for launching joint initiatives in the development of the African continent, a region where China is considered to be taking rapid strides.

The two countries also held extensive consultations on their cooperation with the African Union and the regional economic communities of the continent. These discussions were part of the third round of the India-Japan Dialogue on Africa that took place in Tokyo on November 24-25.

The Indian delegation was led by Gurjit Singh, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, while the Japanese side was led by Sumio Kusaka, Director General for African Affairs in Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Kusaka is also the personal representative of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda for Africa. Economic cooperation with select African countries, issues of mutual political interest including regional affairs in Africa were some topics that were discussed during the two-day dialogue.

India and Japan also exchanged views on UN Security Council Reforms and impact on Africa of major political developments in the region. "India and Japan also explored avenues of mutual cooperation for contributing to Africa`s socio-economic development, peace and security," an External Affairs Ministry statement said here.

The delegation led by Singh also held meetings with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). India, Japan, Germany and Brazil, known as the G4, are pitching for a permanent seat in a extended UN Security Council.

The support of 54-country African continent is critical to the success of the UN Security Council reforms.