Kampala: India on Tuesday extended two lines of credit worth nearly $200 million to Uganda and signed a defence cooperation agreement with the African nation as Prime Minister Narendra Modi held wide-ranging talks with President Yoweri Museveni and discussed ways to strengthen the ties.
Modi, who arrived in Kampala on Tuesday evening on a two-day visit to Uganda — the first bilateral tour by an Indian prime minister since 1997, held one-on-one meeting with Museveni which was followed by a delegation-level talks to comprehensively review all aspects of bilateral relations.
Following the delegation-level talks, the two sides signed four MoUs in the areas of defence cooperation, visa exemption for official and diplomatic passport holders, cultural exchange programme and material testing laboratory.
In a joint press statement, Modi announced two lines of credit worth nearly $200 million in energy infrastructure, agriculture and dairy sectors.
He lauded the time-tested relationship between the two countries and said India was ready to enhance the cooperation in the defence sector with Uganda.
Modi said India and Uganda should strengthen cooperation in the field of military training. He also announced to provide vehicles and ambulances for the Ugandan force as well as civilian use.
"India will assist Uganda in training, capacity building, infrastructure development, IT and development initiatives," he said.
Modi said India will provide a cancer therapy machine to the cancer institute in Kampala. "This will help Uganda as well as other African countries," he added.
"Uganda was always close to our heart and will remain so in future. India was always there to assist Uganda in its development initiatives," Modi said.
"We will continue to support Uganda," the prime minister added.
Describing the Ugandan president as an "old friend of India", he said the memory of his first trip to Uganda as Gujarat chief minister in 2007 was still afresh.
On his part, Museveni praised Modi, saying his business management approach in the public affairs has brought lot of changes in India. "Instead of worshipping bureaucracy he promotes efficiency and that has helped India emerge as one of the fastest growing economies," he said.
Museveni also called for mutual prosperity approach wherein the two countries support each other's product.
Projecting Uganda as a major tourist destination, he said there is a huge scope for tourism cooperation between the two countries.
India can assist Uganda to promote tourism by launching direct flight from Mumbai and other cities, he added.
He also sought assistance from Indian experts for the manufacturing and assembling of solar-powered water pump the country needs for irrigation.
The Uganda president sought assistance from India to improve healthcare facilities in his country.
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Updated Date: Jul 24, 2018 23:01:29 IST