MoS Muraleedhan’s South Sudan visit is seen as a landmark development in the two countries’ bilateral relations

Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs V. Muraleedharan was on official visit in Juba (South Sudan) from October 20 to 22 October, 2021.

This was the first ministerial visit from the Indian side to South Sudan in more than five years, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement released on Sunday.

During his visit, the MoS had a meeting with South Sudan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Mayiik Ayii Deng and both sides reviewed all aspects of the existing relations and expressed willingness to expand the cooperation in various sectors including agriculture, livestock, education, healthcare and IT.

South Sudan was invited to join the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI). In the meeting with Mary Nawai Martin, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs of South Sudan, India expressed its readiness to share its own experiences in developing parliamentary procedures and practices with South Sudan and offered various capacity building training courses.

The MEA said the MoS also called on Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon, the First Vice President of South Sudan and discussed the untapped potential for growth of bilateral trade and Indian investment between the two countries and drew his attention to the constraints being faced by the Indian entrepreneurs in South Sudan.

South Sudan’s First Vice President Riek Machar assured about an investor friendly atmosphere for Indian investors in South Sudan.

During his call on Salva Kiir Mayardit, the President of the Republic of South Sudan, MoS Muraleedharan reiterated India’s support for the ongoing peace process envisaged in the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS).

President Salva Kiir sought India’s cooperation in the health sector and, in consideration of long pending demands of the Indian community living in South Sudan, announced his approval for allocation of land for Hindu cremation ground and a temple in Juba.

The visit included an interaction with the Indian community and a session with Indian entrepreneurs. MoS Muraleedharan also visited the Indian Army Field Hospital under UN Mission, BAPS Hindu Temple and Daughters of Mary Immaculate (an Indian religious congregation) premise.

The Indian community in South Sudan welcomed the MoS wholeheartedly and felt elated to receive an Indian Minister after so many years.