Minister of State for External Affairs, MJ Akbar visited Mali on a bilateral official visit from March 2-3, 2017.
During his visit to Mali, he co-chaired the first ever Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) between India and Mali along with the Foreign Minister of Mali Mr. Abdoulaye Diop.
The cordial discussions reviewed the bilateral engagement between the countries in various sectors like agriculture, energy etc and laid out areas of future co-operation, particularly in security and technology.
Both parties expressed satisfaction at the enhancement of bilateral relations and progress achieved in implementation of outcomes from the visit of Vice-President of India Hamid Ansari to Mali in September 2016.
Minister MJ Akbar reiterated India’s commitment to Mali’s geographical and ideological integrity and assured India’s support for its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Minister Diop thanked India for its generous assistance of USD 0.5 million for the reconstruction of the world heritage of Timbuktu.
India would be hosting the largest exhibition of Timbuktu manuscripts titled “When Taj Mahal meets Timbuktu” later this year.
Both parties identified terrorism as a grave threat to peace and prosperity and agreed to co-operate at a bilateral, regional and multi-lateral level to combat this menace. Both sides also exchanged views on issues of common interest such as UN reforms, development issues, South-South co-operation and promotion of renewable energy.
Both sides were pleased at the outcome of the first JCM and agreed to hold the next meeting of the JCM at a mutually convenient date in 2019. Minister MJA Akbar thanked Minister Abdoulaye Diop for the warmth and hospitality extended to him and his delegation and invited him to visit India to carry forward the discussions.
Minister Akbar’s visit would be followed by a series of high-level visits from Mali to India including the visit of Minister of Culture and Minister of Investment Promotion and Private Sector.