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President Kovind addresses Diaspora in Guniea, praises it as bridge along 2 nations

President Ram Nath Kovind addresses Diaspora in Conakry (Guniea)

Conakry (Guinea), Aug 5 (UITV): President Ram Nath Kovind, presently on the final stage of his three-nation tour to West Africa, on Saturday marked the Indian community here and praised them as a living bridge between the two countries.

Kovind arrived at the Conakry Gbessia International Airport here on August 1 and was granted an official welcome with the military honour. He was received by President of Guinea Alpha Conde along with other dignitaries at the airport.

Later in the day, Kovind and Conde took warm and amiable delegation-level talks aimed at further deepening relations between the two countries. "My three-nation tour is contemplative of our new commitment to enhance our ties with the best of Africa," the President said after hailing the Indian diaspora's contribution to the development of Guinea.

Earlier today, Kovind was also conferred with the National Order of Merit, the highest award of Guinea by Conde in Conakry. "This conferment of the highest ward is symbolic of the respect and regard that this country has for India and Indians. We are mutually keen to strengthen and diversify our relations particularly our economic ties," the President added. He further went on saying that development cooperation is a key element in India's engagement with Guinea from healthcare, fight against Ebola, agriculture, transport to energy security to deepen it further.

"Yesterday we offered concessional finance assistance of USD 170 million to fund water projects in Guinea. We are also keen to implement several solar energy projects under the International Solar Alliance where we see Guinea as an
important partner," he said. "In whatever capacity you may be here each one of you has earned respect and name for yourself and for India. We are indeed proud of you and your success," the President stressed.

"We see our diaspora as an integral part of our  transformative journey. Our initiatives such as the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, Bharat Ko Janiye Quiz and Know India Programme have been helpful in this regard," he said.
"We have also ensured an efficient delivery of passports, consular and Overseas Citizenship of India services. Our embassies have been mandated to provide round the clock services to those in need," he said.

Kovind also said that the Indian government has also made successful utlilization of social media to reach out to people in anguish. He said over the span of the past five years, the Indian government has evacuated over 90,000 Indians, along with nationals of 50 other countries caught in humane disasters and other such situations abroad.

In his speech, Kovind reollected the historical ties of Africa with India specifically the role of Mahatma Gandhi and fetched that India-Guinea and Africa-India relations
had tremendous potential. During Kovind's visit, India and Guinea signed three Memoranda of Understandings,
including cooperation in the field of medicine and homeopathy, renewable energy, and for participation in e-VidyaBharati and e-AarogyaBharat (e-VBAB) Network

This was Kovind's first visit as an Indian President to the West African nation.The Indian President is on a week-long official tour to the three countries of West Africa -- Benin, Gambia, and Guinea.