Opening a new front for collaboration in anti-piracy operation in Eastern Africa, India and Somalia on Tuesday signed an agreement for transfer of sentenced convicts. A statement from the Ministry of External Affairs said the agreement was the highlight of the ongoing visit of the Foreign Minister of Somalia.
Transfer of prisoners:
“During the visit, the Somalian Minister held meetings with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar. The entire gamut of India-Somalia bilateral relations, including the issue of piracy and maritime security, were discussed between the two sides during the meetings. Further, discussions on regional issues pertaining to developments in the Gulf region and India’s neighbourhood were held. An agreement for transfer of sentenced persons between India and Somalia was also signed during the visit,” said the statement from the MEA after Ms. Swaraj sealed the document with her Somalian counterpart Yusuf-Garaad Omar.
The collaboration between two sides will be significant due to the incidents of piracy that have affected Indian interests in the Indian Ocean region near the Horn of Africa. India has in recent years extended development assistance to Somalia which has included mini buses to the war-battered country.
Diplomatic contacts between India and Somalia have been infrequent, however, Somalia had participated in the 2015 India-Africa Forum Summit.