India and Lesotho held the 5th round of Joint Bilateral Commission for Cooperation on 2nd August 2023 in Maseru, Lesotho. The Indian side was led by Puneet R. Kundal, JS(E&SA) in Ministry of External Affairs and the Lesotho side was led by Thabang Polycarp Lekhela, Deputy Principal Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations of Lesotho.
The two sides carried out a comprehensive review of the existing bilateral relations, including enhancing of cooperation in development partnership, trade and economic relations, energy, agriculture, health, art and culture and consular matters. Both sides also reviewed the status of MOUs under negotiation and agreed to expedite their finalization for the mutual benefit of both the countries.
The Indian side invited Lesotho to join International Solar Alliance and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI). Both sides also exchanged views on regional issues as well as cooperation in multilateral fields including the United Nations.
Both sides agreed to hold the next round of Joint Bilateral Commission for Cooperation at mutually convenient dates in New Delhi. Lasetho is an African landlocked country. Since Independence, India has managed to maintain good relations with African countries. Over the years, India has engaged with African countries in multiple ways.
In the past 15 years and especially since 2014, India-Africa relations have developed steadily but more progress is achievable. Last year in June, India-Lesotho Business Council was launched by the Indian Economic Trade Organization and the High Commission of Lesotho to accelerate the trade relationships between both countries.