India has always stood for and with Africa: Sushma Swaraj

New Delhi: Asserting that India has always stood for and with Africa, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said ours is a relationship forged in the crucible of the shared struggle against imperialism, colonialism, racial discrimination and apartheid.

“That era is now behind us, but the solidarity engendered by that shared struggle continues,” she added in her inaugural remarks at the third India-Africa Forum Summit.

Swaraj said this gathering of African Heads of States and Heads of Governments is like a family reunion.

“I can see how the diversity of Africa matches our own, how every flag from Africa has its own special place. So, on behalf of 1.25 billion Indians, let me welcome you most warmly to New Delhi,” she added.

The External Affairs Minister said India and Africa are united by our common goal for progress, prosperity and peace around the world.

“We are linked by the Indian Ocean. And we are joined together by the 2.7 million strong Indian Diaspora in Africa, which is contributing actively to the economic development of its adopted homeland,” said Swaraj.

“Our modern partnership rests on the pillars of economic growth, development and empowerment and is a consolidation of our engagement at various levels – bilateral, regional and pan African,” she added.

Swaraj said the longstanding and multifaceted India-Africa development partnership is based on the principles of equality, friendship and solidarity.

“It represents one of the finest examples of South-South cooperation,” she added.

The External Affairs Minister expressed confidence that the third India-Africa Forum Summit will chart a bold new course for future cooperation.

“I had started my remarks with an African proverb. I will also end with one. It says, ‘If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together’,” said Swaraj.

“We want to travel far on the path of development and we want to travel together with our African friends and partners, in the true spirit of sabka saath, sabka vikas,” she added. (ANI)