India-Gabon Foreign Minister Meet Held

Dec 24: Shri V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs had a virtual meeting with Foreign Minister of Gabon H.E. Mr. Pacome Moubelet Boubeya on December 23, 2020. During the meeting, the two leaders discussed and reviewed the entire spectrum of the bilateral relationship, including further strengthening cooperation.

MOS expressed condolences on the untimely demise of the Ambassador of Gabon to India, H.E. Mr. Desire Koumba.

India & Gabon share friendly and cordial relations. MOS expressed happiness over the regular visits from Gabon to India at all levels and added that the meeting of H.E. the President of Gabon with Prime Minister Modi in 2015 during IAFS-III and in March 2018 during ISA founding conference and the Foreign Minister’s visit in 2017 & 2018 had helped in strengthening relations between the two countries.

Both leaders undertook a detailed review of bilateral ties including the Covid-19 pandemic and possibilities of cooperation in the post-Covid scenario.

The two Ministers also discussed the huge potential that exists in Gabon in sectors such as manganese, fertilizer, railways, agriculture and timber. Gabon has huge amount of natural resources, particularly, manganese, timber, crude oil and, it offers investment opportunities for Indian companies. Bilateral trade has been progressing steadily and it reached US $ 511 million in 2018-19. However, there is still untapped potential and both countries needed to work together to address the issue.

Both leaders also reviewed the utilization of ITEC slots and finalizatiion of draft MOU for participating in e-VBAB Project. The Gabon Foreign Minister has extended invitation to MOS to visit Gabon and also raised the issue of opening of Resident Indian Mission in Gabon. While referring to offer of Line of Credit from India, both leaders recognised that the existing LOC facilities could be utilized by Gabon wisely, particularly, in solar energy and construction of railway lines.

Both leaders also discussed India-Gabon cooperation at the international level and reaffirmed their commitment to continue to support each others’ candidature at the UN and other international forums.