ON BORD AIR INDIA ONE: Vice President Hamid Ansari today condemned the string of assaults on African nationals in New Delhi as "despicable", saying nobody and no government can say anything different.
Interacting with media on board his special aircraft en route to Rabat in Morocco, Ansari said, "Attack on anyone – whether own person or guest, it is despicable."
"Nobody or no government can say anything different – condemning all types of violence," he said.
He said, "They (Africans) are our guests. We have to look after them in the wake of violation of law and order."
Ansari said, "We greatly value our relationship with African countries and we always stood by them."
"Even before 1947 we talked of decolonisation of Africa," he said adding that the stand of the previous UPA government and the present NDA government has been no different.
Ansari left New Delhi today on a five-day visit to two North African countries – Morocco and Tunisia - as part of efforts to build on diplomatic gains from the India-Africa summit held in New Delhi in October last year.
The Vice President said India attaches great importance to Africa, and in that context he was undertaking the trip to Morocco and Tunisia.
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee will also travel to Africa.
"(An) incident is an incident. It has to be condemned in strongest possible terms," he added in the context of recent incidents of attacks on Africans.
There has been a spate of attacks on African nationals in the last few days including killing of a Congolese youth in the national capital and assault on a 23-year-old Nigerian student in Hyderabad.