Pranab heads for Ethiopia


New Delhi : External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee Tuesday left on a four-day visit to Ethiopia that is expected to energise India's diplomacy with sub-Saharan Africa and its efforts to seek the continent's support for UN reforms.

Support TwoCircles

The minister will meet Alpha Oumar Konare, chairperson of the 53-nation African Union commission, and address the African permanent representatives to the African Union in a bid to mobilise the AU's support for the G-4 resolution initiated by India, Brazil, Germany and Japan for expansion of the UN Security Council.

During the minister's visit, India and Ethiopia, Africa's second largest country, will sign three agreements on bilateral investment protection, establishment of a joint ministerial committee and foreign office consultations between the two countries.

Mukherjee will hold detailed discussions with his Ethiopian counterpart Seyoum Mesfin on bolstering political and business ties between the two countries and also discuss global issues like the UN reforms.

He will call on President Woldegiorgis Girma, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and senior cabinet ministers of Ethiopia – home to the headquarters of the 53-nation AU and the UN Economic Commission for Africa.

In a special gesture, he will address the foreign affairs committee of the Ethiopian parliament.

The minister will launch pilot projects of India's dream project in Africa – the Pan-African e-network being built with Indian funds and technical assistance – that will bring benefits of tele-education and tele-medicine to the entire African continent.