United Nations:  Citing its own example of institutionalizing ties with Africa, India has asked the United Nations to heed the views of the African Union in dealing with the 53-nation continent. This would make AU 'a more effective and capable partner of the UN system,' Vinay Kumar, counselor at India's Permanent Mission, said Tuesday at a UN Security Council briefing on the UN Office to African Union (UNOAU).

'For an effective and enduring cooperation between the UN and the AU, it is necessary that the Council not adopt a selective approach to this cooperation,' he said asking the Council to pay heed to the views of the African Union in resolving a crisis like the Libyan crisis.

On its part, he said: 'Conscious of AU's role in handling African issues concerning not only peace and security but also social and development-related, India has institutionalized its cooperation with the African Union.'

Kumar said Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's historic visit to Addis Ababa last month to participate in second Africa-India Forum Summit signified the importance of India's relations with African states.

'Given the similarity of our objectives with those the AU, the summit will serve to further deepen development partnership between India and AU, as also in the field of peace and security,' he said.

India will provide credit lines of $5 billion for the next three years to help Africa achieve its development goals, Kumar said.

India will provide an additional $700 million for establishment of new institutions and training programmes in consultation with the African Union and its institutions, he said.

India has also proposed 10,000 new scholarships under India-Africa Virtual University for African students after establishment of the University, Kumar said.

(Agencies)