Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with President 1694373889402 The Pearl Dream Inc

India now a global superpower, says African Union chair

Sep 11, 2023 12:55 AM IST

Comoros President Azali Assoumani has praised India as a superpower, stating that it is “ahead of China now”. He also highlighted the good relationship between India and Comoros and expressed optimism for future ties. This comes after the African Union became a permanent member of the G20 during the summit of world leaders. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had advocated for the African Union’s full membership in the G20, a proposal that received support from key global players. Modi also met with Assoumani to discuss further cooperation between India and Comoros.

New Delhi:

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with President of the Union of the Comoros and chairperson of the African Union (AU) Azali Assoumani during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit 2023, in New Delhi, India, on Sunday (HT Photo)

India is a superpower in terms of its population and is “ahead of China now”, Comoros president and current chairperson of the African Union, Azali Assoumani, said on Sunday.

Assoumani, in New Delhi for the G20 Summit, made the remarks while speaking to reporters. Asked about the future of India-Comoros ties, he said: “It’s a good future. We’ve always had a good relationship with India. I remember Indians being in the Comoros for centuries. They are doing trade and we have never had any problem with the Indians living there.”

He added: “India is the fifth superpower in the world, so there is enough room for India in Africa. We also know that India is so powerful that it went to space. So, we just need to coordinate our opportunities. India is a superpower in terms of [population], it is ahead of China now.”

On Saturday, the African Union became a permanent member of the G20 during the summit of leaders of the world’s largest economies, marking the first expansion of the bloc since it was created in 1999 to cope with a series of financial crises.

In June, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had written to his counterparts among G20 members that the African Union should be given full membership of the grouping. The proposal was also backed by key members of the European Union (EU), China and Russia, albeit for different reasons.

The African Union will have the same status as the 27-member European Union (EU), the only regional bloc with full membership of the G20.

Assoumani spoke of the moment when Modi hugged him after formally inducting the African Union into the G20. “I was about to cry. It was a great emotion for me. Because actually, we thought that there was going to be a debate and then a decision would be taken but at the very beginning of the summit, it was announced that we were a member,” he said.

On Sunday, Modi held a meeting with Assoumani and congratulated him on the African bloc joining the G20. “Had a very fruitful meeting with @PR_AZALI. Congratulated him once again on @_AfricanUnion joining the G20 family. Comoros is vital to India’s SAGAR Vision. Our deliberations included ways to enhance cooperation in areas like shipping, trade and more,” Modi posted on X.


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