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August 2019 - Bilateral News

  • A bus service between Nepal's capital Kathmandu and India's Siliguri in West Bengal has started. Nepal's Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transportation Raghubir Mahaseth and Indian Ambassador Manjeev Singh Puri flagged off the bus from Kathmandu last evening. The 44-seater air conditioned deluxe bus will complete 650 Kilometre-journey between Kathmandu and Siliguri in 18 hours.

    The bus will leave Kathmandu daily at 3 P.M. and reach Siliguri via Kakarvitta-Panitanki border next day at around 9 A.M. The bus fare is 2,000 Nepali Rupees and tickets would be available on-line. During Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Nepal visit in 2014 a Motor Vehicle Agreement for Passenger Traffic was signed to facilitate seamless and hassle-free movement of people of both countries and promote tourism. A total 13 routes have been approved for operating regular bus services between the two countries. Kathmandu-Siliguri is the 11th route and it would further enhance connectivity between India and Nepal.

  • At G7 Summit, Prime Minister Narendra highlighted India's large scale efforts towards eliminating single-use plastic, conserving water, harnessing solar energy and protecting flora and fauna for a sustainable future. Prime Minister made these remarks during an address to a session on the environment at G7 Summit in the French town of Biarritz. Clouds covered the sky of Biarritz, but there is a new dawn waiting for India which was invited as a partner country in G7 summit.

    Apart from getting a diplomatic win on the Kashmir issue, India also gave an idea to the world on the forum of G7 that how to fight against the natural calamities. In his one to one talk with UN general secretary, Antonio Guterres Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested about how the world could come together to create a pool of trained volunteers which will help the countries in case of disaster.

    He also asserted that India is moving towards the renewable and clear forms of energy and there is a strong case for India's membership of Nuclear suppliers group. Mr Guterres is willing to help India on this issue. PM also had bilateral meeting with President of Senegal and discussed International solar alliance.

  • Indo-Pacific region is highway for trade & prosperity: S Jaishankar. India External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said, the changing world had thrown up new concepts and approaches and the Indo-Pacific was one of them. The Indo-Pacific area is our lifeline and also the highway for trade and prosperity.

    India, the US and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China's rising military manoeuvring in the region. Mr. Jaishankar arrived in Moscow, on a two-day visit to Russia. He will hold talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov. The External Affairs Minister's visit comes days ahead of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok from 4 to 6th September where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the chief guest.

  • India to host UNCCD COP-14 14th Conference of Parties of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification between 2-13 September 2019. The government aims the restoration of 50 lakh hectares of land in next 10 years. The conference of Parties will focus on desertification and degradation of land. Over 3000 representatives from over 200 countries will participate in it.

  • Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel Dharmendra Pradhan lead a business delegation from oil & gas as well as steel sectors to Moscow from 29-30 August 2019. This is his first overseas’ visit since his assumption of office. He will also participate in an Energy Dialogue with Russian and Indian Oil & Gas and Steel Companies.

  • The Union Cabinet approved the MoU between India and Gambia in the Field of Traditional Systems of Medicine. The MoU will provide a framework for cooperation between India and Gambia for the promotion of traditional systems of medicine and will mutually benefit the 2 countries in this field. The MoU was signed in Gambia on 31 July 2019 during the visit of the President Shri Ram Nath Kovind.

  • The MoU between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Republic of Guinea was approved on Cooperation in the Field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy. The MoU was signed on 2 August 2019 during the 3-day visit of the President Shri Ram Nath Kovind to Guinea. It will be of great importance to both countries considering their shared cultural heritage.

  • India has said it has an abiding interest in the peace and stability in the South China sea region as South China sea is part of the global commons. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India firmly stands for the freedom of navigation and over-flight and unimpeded lawful commerce, in the international waters, in accordance with international laws. India also believes that any differences must be resolved peacefully by respecting the legal and diplomatic processes, and without resorting to threat or use of force.

  • A delegation from the 59th course of National Defence College (NDC) India comprising 15 senior officers from civil services and defence forces of India, UK, Japan, Mongolia and Bangladesh visited Nepal. During the three-day visit which was concluded, the team led by Vice Admiral Srikant, AVSM, Commandant NDC called on Nepal’s Chief of Army Staff, General Purna Chandra Thapa and discussed matters of mutual interest. The delegation was briefed about various functions of the Nepali Army during its visit to Nepali Army headquarters. The team also visited Western Division Headquarters at Pokhara as well as the prestigious Mountain Warfare School at Jomsom.

    The delegation also paid a courtesy call on Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali and Defence Secretary Reshmi Raj Pandey. The National Defence College of India is a premier institute of its kind in Asia, providing instruction to senior defence and civil service officers in the wider aspects of higher direction and strategy of warfare. The course is attended by senior officers of the Indian Defence Forces and Civil Services as well as armed forces officers of friendly foreign countries. Presently, one officer of the Nepali Army is also attending an ongoing course whereas nine serving and nineteen retired officers of the Nepali Army have graduated from the National Defence College, New Delhi.

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will embark on a two-nation tour of Japan and South Korea on the 2nd of September. As part of his visit to Japan, the Minister will co-chair the Annual Defence Ministerial Dialogue with his Japanese counterpart Takeshi Iwaya.

    The Ministerial Dialogue will aim to further strengthen India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership and include wide-ranging discussions to enhance the bilateral defence and security engagements between the two countries. A CEO's Forum followed by a Business-to-Government meeting will also be held in Seoul with the participation of members of the Defence Industry from both sides with the aim to encourage India - South Korea Defence Industry co-operation.

  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will be arriving in Dhaka (19 August) on a three-day visit to Bangladesh. He will be holding a meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart Dr A K Abdul Momen on 20 August, 2019. He is also scheduled to call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on 20 August, 2019.

    India and Bangladesh enjoy excellent bilateral relations with a number of important projects in the field of railways, power and infrastructure sector being run in Bangladesh with Indian assistance and co-operation. However, issues like river water sharing remain to be finalized. Both the leaders are expected to discuss issues of mutual importance during the visit of the External Affairs Minister to Bangladesh. It will be the first Bangladesh visit of External Affairs Minister after the new government took oath in India in May.

  • An Australian delegation met Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Thawarchand Gehlot in New Delhi to take forward the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Australia in the areas in the disability sector. The MoU was signed in November last year which focuses on disability policy and delivery of services, community outreach, education and training.

    The delegation comprising Prof. Craig Jeffrey, Director and CEO of Australia India Institute and others discussed the issues relating to co-curriculum design of a community based inclusive development course and joint leadership development programme. Mr Thawarchand Gehlot said, through the MoU, the governments of both countries will move forward towards welfare and protecting the interest of Divyangjan.

  • Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has said that India and Lithuania can become important partners in Make in India program. Addressing the India Lithuania Business Forum in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania on 19th August, Mr. Naidu said that Lithuania strongly supports India's Make in India initiative.

    He invited a Business delegation from Lithuania to participate in India Europe Business Forum. He said that bilateral trade between both the countries is below potential. He said, Make in India campaign is establishing India as the hub of manufacturing and investment.

    Addressing the Indian community in Vilnius, He called upon them to serve as a bridge in strengthening economic and cultural relations between the two countries. An official release said that Vice President said that Lithuania could be an important technology partner for India, especially in areas such as lasers, renewable energy, agro-food processing and life sciences. He said, India is one of the most open economies of the world and is placed now at 77th rank among 190 countries in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index. Mr Naidu is on a three-nation tour to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

  • India and Bhutan resolve to expand bilateral cooperation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has returned home after a successful two day visit to Bhutan. He was seen off by the Bhutanese Prime Minister Dr. Lotay Tshering at the airport this afternoon. Earlier, the King of Bhutan hosted a luncheon in the honour of Indian Prime Minister.

    During the visit, Prime Minister Modi and the Bhutanese leadership resolved to take the bilateral cooperation beyond hydroelectric power sector. The two countries signed various MoUs to diversify the friendship. The sectors include, space, education, science, technology and legal education.

    Prime Minister Modi also addressed the students of Royal Bhutan University in Thimphu this morning. He said that happiness shall always prevail over mindless hate. He said, Bhutan’s message to humanity is happiness which springs from harmony. Mr Modi appreciated that Bhutan has understood the essence of happiness as well as the spirit of harmony, togetherness and compassion.

    The Prime Minister said, going beyond the traditional sectors of cooperation, both countries are seeking to cooperate extensively in new frontiers, from schools to space, and digital payments to disaster management. He said that 1.3 billion Indian people are ready to partner with Bhutanese people in their future endeavours, especially in education.

  • The 5th Meeting of India-Nepal Joint Commission will be held in Kathmandu on 21- 22 August. Minister for External Affairs of Dr S. Jaishankar and Nepal’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali will co-chair the meeting and lead their respective delegations.

    According to Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Joint Commission Meeting will review the overall state of bilateral relations and various areas of cooperation such as connectivity and economic partnership, trade and transit, power and water resources, culture, education and other matters of mutual interest. India-Nepal Joint Commission was established in June 1987. Its meetings are held alternately in Nepal and India. The last meeting of the Commission was held in New Delhi on October 2016.

    During the visit, the Minister of External Affairs Dr Jaishankar will pay courtesy calls on President of Nepal Bidya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister Mr K P Sharma Oli. Nepal’s Minister for Foreign Affairs will also host a dinner in honour of Dr Jaishankar.

  • External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar will hold talks with his Bangladeshi counterpart Dr. A K Abdul Menon on 20 August, 2019. He arrived in Dhaka on 19 August, 2019 night on a three day visit to Bangladesh. He will begin his engagement by paying respect to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in the Dhanmondi area of Dhaka which will be followed by a meeting with the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh.

    This is the first visit of the External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar to Bangladesh after the new government took oath in May, 2019. The visit marks the neighborhood first policy of the Modi government. Bangladesh has been a reliable friend of India.

    The visit of the External Affairs Minister is the reaffirmation of the strong ties between the two neighbours. During the visit the two sides will discuss issues of mutual importance especially those related to connectivity, security and people to people contact related aspects of India Bangladesh Relationship.

  • India committed to strengthen its relations with Latvia in all spheres. 
    Vice President M.Venkaiah Naidu said that Latvia and India enjoy friendly and cordial relations which have been growing steadily in diverse spheres since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1991.

    India is committed to strengthen its relations with Latvia in all spheres, including business and investment, cultural and academic cooperation and people to people connect.

    India is proud of the contributions made by its 30 million-strong Diaspora all over the world.

    Mr Naidu further added that the Indian community in Latvia has been helpful in bringing foreign investments, technology, expertise and goodwill to India. He asked the diaspora to contribute to the growing aspirations of their motherland. He also commended the Indian community and students, for carving out a niche for themselves in Latvia.

    The Vice President, who is on the three-nation visit to Baltic Nations, said that Latvia and India can become an important partners as the world economy progresses towards the 4th Industrial Revolution where IT, High-tech, Artificial Intelligence and innovations will play key roles.

  • The 28th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The BASIC Group could play an important role in making Paris Agreement accepted by all the countries in its true letter and spirit. BASIC countries comprise of Brazil, South Africa, India and China. It was formed on 28 November 2009.

  • India contributed $1 million to the UN Special Purpose Trust Fund for the Resident Coordinator System. The Special Purpose Trust Fund (SPTF) is a specific fund housed within the UN Secretariat established to receive, consolidate, manage and account for all contributions and financial transactions of the new Resident Coordinator system in a transparent and effective way. The fund was established to receive, consolidate, manage and account for all contributions and financial transactions of the new Resident Coordinator system in a transparent and effective way.

    A UN Special Purpose Trust Fund (SPTF) established to receive, consolidate, manage and account for all contributions and financial transactions of the reinvigorated RC system. The Fund is housed in the UN Secretariat and will be administered by the Office of the Controller in the Department of Management.

  • India remains politically committed to the completion of the Jaitapur nuclear power project, which is being built in partnership with France. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the outreach session of the G7 meet at Biarritz, France, where India is a special invitee.

    We are politically committed to completing the Jaitapur nuclear power project as soon as possible. In December 2018, we have signed the Industrial Way Forward Agreement. The techno commercial offer is in active discussion between the technical agencies. The visit to Biarritz is part of the multi-nation tour that Mr. Modi will undertake from August 23. He will visited the UAE, Bahrain and France. The invitation to visit France was extended by President Emmanuel Macron after Mr. Modi was re-elected to a second term in office.

  • The Indian Coast Guard held a High-Level Meeting (HLM) with the Sri Lanka Coast Guard at Coast Guard Headquarters in New Delhi. The Indian side was led by Director General, Coast Guard K Natarajan, while the Sri Lankan delegation was headed by Rear Admiral Samantha Wimalathunge.

    The meeting took place under the provisions of the MoU signed between the two sides for the establishment of a collaborative relationship to combat transnational illegal activities at sea and develop regional co-operation. A four-member delegation of the Sri Lanka Coast Guard led by its DG Rear Admiral Samantha Wimalathunge Director General (DG) is presently on an official visit to India.

    During the meeting, both sides agreed to strengthen co-operation in addressing a spectrum of maritime issues concerning safety and security. The apprehension of two fishing boats by Sri Lanka involved in drug trafficking based on the information exchange undertaken by Indian Coast Guard invoking the MoU was recognized as an important enabler for pursuing further collaborative response to emerging situations at sea.

  • Focus on Trade, Commerce & economic partnership as EAM S Jaishankar chairs India-Nepal Joint Commission meeting in Kathmandu.  External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar will arrive in Kathmandu on 21 August, 2019 on a two-day visit to Nepal. He will co-chair the 5th Meeting of India-Nepal Joint Commission with his Nepalese counterpart Pradeep Kumar Gyawali in the afternoon.

    The Joint Commission will discuss entire gamut of Indo-Nepal relations. The focus will be on economic partnership, trade and transit, connectivity, power, water resources and inundation. During the visit, External Affairs Minister will pay courtesy calls on President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli. He is also expected to meet senior leaders from various political parties. Nepal’s Minister for Foreign Affairs will host a dinner in his honour.

  • The Indian Army has rebutted Pakistan's claim of six Indian casualties in cross-border firing along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir. Sources said, fake tweet of Pakistan Director General Inter-Service Public Relations of six Indian casualties, again proves that Pakistan as a nation is only propaganda machinery. In the ceasefire violations in Krishna Ghati Sector, Army had one fatal casualty and four non-fatal casualties. Initiation of ceasefire violations followed by false figure of Indian casualties is Pakistan's deliberate design to up the ante along Line of Control to desperately seek international attention.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold delegation-level talks with Zambian President Edgar Chagwa Lungu in New Delhi on 21 August, 2019. President Lungu arrived in the national capital on 20 August, 2019 on a three-day visit. The delegation-level talks will be preceded by a bilateral meeting between the two leaders.

    President Lungu's visit will provide an opportunity to further energize India's mutually beneficial partnership with Zambia. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Zambian President are expected to review the entire gamut of bilateral relations and cover issues of regional and international interest during the talks. The discussion is likely to focus on cooperation in defence, security, geology and mineral resources, energy, health, education, infrastructure, trade and investment-related issues. Capacity building continues to be an important aspect of India's engagement with Zambia.

    The two countries enjoy close and friendly bilateral relations. The bilateral trade between India and Zambia has grown steadily. India primarily imports copper from Zambia, which is the second-largest producer of copper in Africa. Zambia is also beneficiary of India’s Duty-Free Tariff Preference scheme. With investments of over 5 billion US dollars, mostly in the mining sector, India is one of the largest investors in Zambia. The visit is significant in the context of India's Africa outreach policy.

  • President of Zambia Edgar Chagwa Lungu on 20 August, 2019 arrived in New Delhi on a three-day visit to India. Mr Lungu will meet President Ram Nath Kovind and will hold delegation-level talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    The bilateral talks are expected to review the entire gamut of bilateral relations and expected to cover issues of bilateral, regional and international interest. The discussion is likely to focus on cooperation in defence, security, geology and mineral resources, energy, health, education, infrastructure, culture, trade and investment-related issues. The State visit of President Lungu will provide an opportunity to further energize our mutually beneficial partnership with Zambia.

  • India and U.S. to hold 2+2 dialogue on 22 August, 2019. Amid increased India-Pakistan tension, the United States will host an intersessional meeting of the US-India 2+2 Dialogue in California to discuss ways to advance cooperation on critical diplomatic and security priorities. The intersessional meeting is aimed at strengthening the strategic partnership.

    During the Intersessional, the two sides will discuss ways to advance cooperation on critical diplomatic and security priorities, including our shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, and review preparations for the next 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue.

  • The Fifth Meeting of India-Nepal Joint Commission was successfully concluded in Kathmandu on 21 August, 2019. The meeting was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar and Nepal's Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali. The Joint Commission reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations especially connectivity and economicpartnership; trade and transit; power and water resources and culture and education.

    The commission expressed happiness overmomentum generated in overall aspects of Nepal-India relations following theexchange of high-level visits in the past two years. Views were also exchanged on the review of 1950's Treatyof Peace and Friendship and submission of report of the Eminent Persons Groupon Nepal-India Relations. Matters related to cooperation ininternational, regional and sub- regional fora were also discussed. The JointCommission expressed happiness at the progress made in various bilateral projects.

    Bothsides agreed to an early conclusion of the review of treaties and agreementsrelated to trade, transit and rail services. Noting that inundation is aserious problem for people living in border areas, the Joint Commissionunderlined the need for addressing inundation issues. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) onFood Safety and Standards between Food Safety and Standards Authority of India(FSSAI) and Departmentof Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC) of Nepal was signed andexchanged in the presence of the two Ministers.

    During the meeting, two cheques for Terai Roads Projectand Post-earthquake Reconstruction Project were also handed over by Ambassadorof India to Nepal, Manjeev SinghPuri to CEOof National Reconstruction Authority and Secretary,Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport of Nepal. On second day of his visit External Affairs Minister will pay acourtesy call on President of Nepal Bidya Devi Bhandari.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will leave on a three-nation visit to France, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Mr Modi will meet French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris and hold bilateral talks on trade, security, energy security, counter terrorism and maritime cooperation in Indo-Pacific.

  • Nepal plans to hold SAARC Foreign Ministers informal meeting on the sidelines of the 74th UN General Assembly (UNGA) session in September 2019. The aim is to prove the country's role in creating an environment for the commencement of the regional summit. The 18th SAARC summit was held in Kathmandu, Nepal in 2014. India is the largest member of SAARC forum.

    The 19th SAARC summit was supposed to held in 2016. But the summit was canceled after India boycotted the meeting. India protested after the terror attack at the military base in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir on September 2016. The attack killed 19 soldiers.

    After India boycotted the SAARC summit countries including Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan walked out. India's decision is to set up diplomatic pressure on Pakistan. India also declared that it will participate only if Pakistan took steps to tackle terrorism.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with French President Emmanuel Macron. The two leaders, first held one-on-one meeting which was followed by the delegation-level talks at Chateau de Chantilly, about 50 kms north of Paris. The two leaders reviewed the entire gamut of the dynamic and multi-faceted bilateral relations during their more than 90-minute long one-on-one meeting. After the delegation level talks, the two countries signed four MoUs.

    India and France stand firm together to meet the challenges of climate change, environment, and technology inclusive development. India and France will expand cooperation in counter terrorism and security. Both leaders reaffirmed that terrorism cannot be justified on any grounds whatsoever and it should not be associated with any religion, creed, nationality and ethnicity. Both leaders also agreed to work for early convening of the Global Conference, proposed by India, to tackle the threat of terrorism around the world.

    The two leaders also agreed to enhance their cooperation and launch fresh efforts to prevent and fight radicalisation, especially online radicalisation. Identifying defence industrial cooperation as one of the mainstays of the strategic partnership between India and France, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen cooperation in this field. India and Pakistan should resolve the Kashmir issue bilaterally and no third party should interfere or incite violence in the region. He said France will deliver first of the 36 Rafal fighter jets to India next month.

  • India and the United States reviewed the progress and development of bilateral relations in cross-cutting defence, security, and foreign policy areas in the two plus two intersessional meetings. The two countries explored further possibilities of cooperation in these fields based on common interest. They also discussed regional developments and agreed to pursue their quest for a free, open, inclusive, peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific. The meeting took place in Monterey, California.

    The Indian delegation was led jointly by Joint Secretary in Ministry of External Affairs Gourangalal Das and Joint Secretary in Ministry of Defence V. Anandarajan. The U.S. delegation was led jointly by Ambassador Alice Wells, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs and Randall Schriver, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs. The inaugural 22 Ministerial meeting was held in New Delhi in September, 2018. The Intersessional meeting mechanism was set up pursuant to the 22 Ministerial. The two sides agreed to carry forward these discussions.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold talks with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The two leaders will discuss the entire gamut of bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual interest. Frequent high-level interactions between India and UAE testify to the vibrant bilateral relations. The visit will further strengthen the multifaceted bilateral ties with UAE.

    Prime Minister will also formally launch RuPay card to expand the network of cashless transactions abroad. UAE will be the first country in the Middle East to commence the RuPay card facility. Mr Modi will also receive the highest civilian award of UAE - Order of Zayed. Prime Minister Modi, along with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohd Bin Zayed, is also expected to jointly launch the commemorative stamp on Mahatma Gandhi to mark 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Bapu.

    Mr Modi arrived in Abu Dhabi from Paris after successfully concluding his France tour during which he held bilateral meetings with President Emmanuel Macron and premier Edouard Philippe. Prime Minister Modi also addressed the Indian community at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. Prime Minister will also witness the formal beginning of the re-development of the temple of Shreenathji - the oldest in the Gulf region before returning to France to attend the G7 Summit meetings.

    Mr Modi's visit to Bahrain is significant as it will be the first visit of an Indian Prime Minister to the country. Prime Minister will also meet and interact with the Indian diaspora during the visit. Prime Minister Modi will be decorated with the highest civilian honour in UAE called the “Order of the Zayed”, a rare honour given to Kings & Head of States. The award will be presented in a special ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi. The award has been conferred on Prime Minister Modi in recognition of the pivotal role played by him in enhancing bilateral ties.

    It also symbolizes the brotherly ties between the two countries & their people. PM Modi also said that India UAE relations are at their best ever & that India has found a partner in the UAE to achieve its ambitious dream of achieving a 5 trillion USD economy. This visit of PM hopes to further strengthen the trajectory of India UAE relationship which according to Ambassador Suri is in its ‘golden era’.

  • DTC cancelled the Delhi-Lahore bus service as Pakistan has decided to discontinue it in the wake of India revoking Jammu and Kashmir's special status. A DTC bus was scheduled to leave for Lahore at 6 AM this morning but it did not leave due to Pakistan's decision to suspend the bus service. DTC following Pakistan's decision to suspend the Delhi-Lahore bus service, DTC is not able to send bus from Delhi to Lahore.

  • External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar held a bilateral meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing . They discussed the full gamut of issues relating to the international situation, regional aspects and the bilateral relations including the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to India for the 2nd Informal Summit later this year.

    During the meeting, the Chinese Foreign Minister brought up developments pertaining to legislation passed recently by Parliament on Jammu and Kashmir. Dr Jaishankar conveyed that this was an internal matter for India. He said, the issue related to changes in a temporary provision of the Constitution of India and was the sole prerogative of the country. He highlighted that the legislative measures were aimed at promoting better governance and socio-economic development and added that there was no implication for either the external boundaries of India or the Line of Actual Control with China. That India was not raising any additional territorial claims and Chinese concerns in this regard are therefore misplaced.

    The External Affairs Minister also stressed that the future of the India-China relationship will depend on mutual sensitivity to each other’s core concerns. He said, it is natural that there would be issues in the ties and properly managing differences is therefore vital. The economic relationship had seen some progress but the increasing trade deficit was a matter of concern. It was emphasised in the meeting that the Chinese side should take steps to address this issue including by enabling greater access for India's pharmaceutical and IT products and services in the domestic Chinese market.

    Four MoUs were signed on the occasion in various fields including traditional medicine, and sports. Earlier, the External Affairs Minister met Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan. They discussed the evolving global situation and the larger rebalancing that reflects the rise of India and China as two large developing countries.

  • French Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler conferred Indian chef Priyam Chatterjee with the distinction of Chevalier de I'Ordre du Merite Agricole, also known as the Order of Agricultural Merit on August 12, 2019. He is the first Indian chef to be conferred this honour. He is known to honour French cuisine by revisiting the traditional dishes of his native place.

  • India contributes 1 million to UN Special Purpose Trust Fund. India has contributed one million US Dollars to the United Nations Special Purpose Trust Fund for the Resident Coordinator System. India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin tweeted on 13 August, 2019 that India is happy to tangibly contribute to reform of the UN Development system.

    Special Purpose Trust Fund (SPTF) is a specific fund housed within the UN Secretariat, established to receive, consolidate, manage all contributions and financial transactions of the new Resident Coordinator system in a transparent and effective way.

    SPTF web portal, displays in real time all commitments, contributions and expenditures recorded for the fund. Funding sources include voluntary contributions from the Member States, the doubling of cost-sharing amounts from the UN entities who are members of the United Nations development system and a one per cent levy applied to contributions for UN development related activities earmarked to a single agency, single programme or project.

  • Gujarat to sign 2 MoUs in Vladivostok. Diamond sector representatives accompanying Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani to Vladivostok in Russia signed two MOUs. They are related to sourcing of rough diamonds and setting up of diamond processing units there. Rupani was in Russia from August 11-13, 2019 along with a delegation of 28 members from the state representing sectors such as diamond, petroleum and pharmaceutical.

  • Goa inked an agreement with Russia’s Kamchatka region on 12 August 2019. It will pave the way for cooperation in the field of trade, economic investment, scientific and technical cooperation and even tourism. The MoU aims at deepening mutual beneficial cooperation and will allow the exchange of information on the investment climate, business conditions, etc.

  • India and Bhutan have agreed to take the bilateral ties to new heights and take the cooperation beyond the hydropower sector. The resolve came during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meetings with the Bhutanese leadership.

    Briefing media in Thimpu, about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's engagement with the King, the Fourth Druk Gyalpo and Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said that there will be three pillars of the relationship between the two countries which is enduring nature of partnership based on mutual interest and trust.

    They desired to strengthen science, technology and education links. He said, India will be happy to assist Bhutan in the health sector which is its priority. Mr Gokhale said, the first day of Mr Modi was very fulfilling. Earlier, Mr Modi held talks with his Bhutanese counterpart Dr. Lotay Tshering in Thimpu. They reviewed the entire gamut of the bilateral relations and ways and means to further enhance it. The two leaders had one to one as well as delegation-level exchanges.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bhutanese counterpart Lotay Tshering held wide ranging talks on 17 August, 2019 and discussed steps to further expand the bilateral partnership across several sectors. The two countries also signed 10 MoUs to infuse new energy in their ties. We had a comprehensive meeting, where we deliberated on the relations between India and Bhutan. There is great scope to further improve economic and cultural ties between our nations.

  • Vice President on 3-day visit to Baltic nation. Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu will embark on a 3-nation visit to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia on 17 August 2019. He will be accompanied by a high-level delegation. His visit will be the first-ever high level visit to the 3 Baltic countries. The visit takes place in the context of increasing political engagement, as well as intensified trade and commercial ties.

  • On 06 August, 2019, India contributed USD 5 million to the UN Palestine refugee agency and called for ensuring sustained fiscal support for the organisation's work. The cheque for the amount was handed over to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian Refugees by Representative of India (ROI) in Palestine, Sunil Kumar, at the Agency's headquarters in Jerusalem.

    India increased its annual financial assistance to the UNRWA by four fold, from USD 1.25 million to USD 5 million, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Palestine in February 2018, the first-ever visit by an Indian Premier to Ramallah. The UNRWA has been providing health, education, relief and social services, as well as emergency humanitarian assistance, across its five areas of operations in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, and the Gaza Strip since 1950.

  • Uttar Pradesh government and Netherlands have extended the existing bilateral agreement of cooperation in several fields by another five years. A memorandum of understanding in this regard was signed by officials in the presence of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and the Netherlands ambassador to India, Marten van den Berg extending the cooperation between two countries till 2024. The MoU, inked earlier, sought cooperation and exchange of the knowledge and techniques in the fields of solid waste management, spatial planning, water management including restoration of water bodies and mobility planning.

    The MoU is also related to cooperation in fields of transport management, energy efficiency, sewerage and effluent treatment, agriculture, dairy and horticulture, development of smart cities in UP, cultural heritage and the cycle track infrastructure development in various cities of the state. India, especially Uttar Pradesh shares a strong relationship with the Netherlands.

  • India and Bangladesh have agreed to set up a Joint Technical committee for optimum utilisation of Ganges water as being received by Bangladesh under the Ganga Water Sharing Treaty 1996. After the Secretary-level meeting in Dhaka , both the countries also agreed to prepare a framework for interim water-sharing agreement for eight rivers including Feni, Gumti and Teesta. Both the countries also discussed issues related to pollution of trans boundary rivers. The Secretary-level meeting was held after a gap of more than 8 years. It is an important step in enhancing bilateral cooperation in the water resources sector between India and Bangladesh.

    Water Resources Secretary Upendra Prasad Singh led the Indian delegation in the talks while the Bangladesh side was led by his counterpart Kabir Bin Anwar. The Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna mega-basin is the second largest hydraulic region in the world. Within this basin, fifty-four rivers cross the border between upstream India and downstream Bangladesh.

  • Indian army will participate in an anti- terrorism military exercise in Russia. The exercise, an initiative under the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, is to be held from September 10 to September 21 at Orenburg in Russia. This year (2019), Russia has asked Mongolia, Turkmenistan, Belarus and Iran to send their troops as special guests to take part in the anti-terrorism military exercise.

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh arrived in Maputo on a three-day visit to Mozambique. India is willing to forge a strong bilateral relationship with Mozambique by increasing regular engagement and cooperation in multiple spheres. Defence Minister also visited Mozambique's Armed Forces headquarters. Mr Singh will hold talks with President, Defence Mminister, Foreign Minister and Interior Minister of Mozambique during his visit.

    India and Mozambique will sign bilateral agreements to boost military cooperation. During the defence minister's visit, India will also hand over two fast interceptor boats and 44 SUVs to Mozambique. Bilateral relations between India and Mozambique are on an upswing after the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the southern African country in July 2016.

  • Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli inaugurates India-Nepal Logistics Summit. Prime Minister of Nepal KP Sharma Oli has stressed upon smooth and quality logistics between India and Nepal. Inaugurating India-Nepal Logistics Summit in Kathmandu on 28 July, 2019 Mr. Oli said, smart logistics plays a crucial role in making trade and transit arrangements easy, hassle-free and cost-effective.

    Nepal and India have a significant volume of trade, investment, tourism and people-to-people movement for which smooth and quality logistics including easy transit facilities is very essential. India is fully committed to providing all necessary support to Nepal in achieving its goal of prosperity.

    Special Secretary (Logistics), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India N. Sivasailam, Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) CMD V. Kalyana Rama and Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) President Bhawani Rana also graced the occasion. The theme of the summit was “Transforming Logistics Landscape”. Government representatives and trade community from India and Nepal participated in the conference.

  • Indian tourists exempted from visa fees by Sri Lankan government. India is among 48 countries whose citizens have been exempted from visa fees for tourism purposes by Sri Lankan government. The decision was announced on 31 July, 2019 during a media conference in Colombo. Visa fees which ranged from 20 to 40 US dollars, will not be charged for grant of one month visa for tourism. The tourists can apply for electronic travel authorisations online or apply for visa on arrival.

    The measure will be implemented for six months initially and a decision will be taken later for extension depending upon its impact on revenue. Joining the media conference, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe said they expect revenues from enhanced tourism arrivals to offset the loss.

  • Pakistan has opened a 1,000-year-old Hindu temple in eastern city Sialkot for “worship” for the first time since partition on the demand of the local Hindu community, officials said on 29 July, 2019. The Shawala Teja Singh temple, located in city’s congested Dhaarowal locality, some 100-km from Lahore, is more than 1,000 years old, according to the book ‘History of Sialkot’ by the late Rashid Niaz. 

  • The 11th Annual General Meeting of the Indo-Lanka Chamber of Commerce & Industry was held in Colombo. Chief guest High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Mr. Taranjit Singh Sandhu appreciated the contribution of Indo-Lanka Chamber towards strengthening of India- Sri Lanka bilateral relations. He noted that the cornerstone of India’s foreign policy, "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas aur Sabka Vishwas” was not just for India, but approach towards the whole world, and remains most significant in its neighbourhood.

    President of the Indo- Lanka chamber Romesh David in his speech spoke about active engagement between the industries of the two countries. He also enumerated the efforts made by the Indo-Lanka Chamber in further strengthening bilateral economic relations, recalling the visit led by the chamber to CII partnership summit in Mumbai in January this year.

  • President Ram Nath Kovind will hold talks with his Guinea counterpart Alpha Conde in the capital Conakry on 02 August, 2019. Both the Presidents are expected to review the entire gamut of bilateral relations and discuss issues of mutual interest. Various agreements are also likely to be signed after the talks. Mr Kovind reached Conakry last evening on the third and last leg of his three-West African nation’s visit.

  • President Kovind honoured with National order of Merit, highest award of Republic of Guinea
    President Ram Nath Kovind has been awarded the National order of Merit by the President of Guinea for his exceptional contribution to the advancement of overall relations and development of mutual cooperation between India and Guinea and for promoting friendship and partnership between the people of both the countries. This is the highest award of Republic of Guinea.

    During the award ceremony President Kovind said, the award is dedicated to people of India and Guinea for his friendship. Earlier, The President had extensive talks with his counterpart. During the delegation level talks, a range of areas of mutual interest in bilateral, regional and multilateral fields have been discussed. Three MoUs were signed between the two countries, Cooperation in the Field of Traditional System of Medicine, e- Vidhyabharati - e-Aarogya Bharati Network Project and Renewal Energy. President also announced a new Line of Credit of US$ 170 million for Water Supply Project of Conakry city.

    Both countries also agreed on the need for reform of the UN Security Council to make it reflective of contemporary realities. Both the leaders also expressed their deep concern over the rise of extremism and terrorism around the world. The President will attend an Indian community event before concluding the visit.

  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has emphasised on better connectivity between India and other member countries of the Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC) bloc for developing a vibrant economic growth corridor. The MGC, is a sub-regional cooperation organisation comprising India and five ASEAN countries, namely, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

    Addressing the 10th MGC Ministerial Meeting in the Thai capital Bangkok, Dr Jaishankar said, connectivity is a major focus area of cooperation for India. He said, New Delhi looks forward to the early completion of the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway and its extension to Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam. He said, the Jakarta-based Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) have been tasked to study the feasibility of developing the planned highway as a vibrant economic growth corridor. The full report is expected to be completed early next year.

    The Minister also emphasised on the need to quickly finalise the India-Myanmar-Thailand Motor Vehicle Agreement to facilitate seamless movement of goods and passengers across borders. He said, the move, will lead to greater trade and tourism. India had earlier announced a one billion dollar Line of Credit for connectivity projects in the ASEAN. Dr Jaishankar also emphasised on enhancing direct air connectivity between the member nations to facilitate better business and tourism.

    He announced that Indian carrier, IndiGo, will start direct flights on the New Delhi-Ho Chi Minh City sector from October and daily services from Kolkata to Yangon from late September. IndiGo and Vistara have also been designated Indian carriers under the India-Cambodia bilateral Air Services Agreement. The meeting was also attended by representatives of MGC member countries.

    During the meeting, the new MGC Plan of Action 2019-2022 was adopted that envisages project-based cooperation in various areas including tourism and culture, education, public health and traditional medicine, agriculture and allied sectors, transport and communication, MSMEs and water resources management. MGC which takes its name from the Ganga and the Mekong, the two civilisational rivers in Southeast Asia, was launched in 2000 at Laos capital Vientiane. The MGC aims at facilitating closer contacts among the people inhabiting these two major river basins and enhancing cooperation in tourism, culture, education, transport and communications.

  • Model village built with Indian assistance inaugurated in Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka, the Gandhi Nagar model village built with Indian assistance was inaugurated and the completed houses handed over to the beneficiaries. It is the second of the 100 model villages being built with Indian assistance and is named after Mahatma Gandhi, in his 150th birth anniversary. High Commissioner of India, Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Sri Lanka Minister of Housing Sajith Premadasa jointly inaugurated the village and handed over the houses.

    Government of India has partnered with the Sri Lankan government to build 100 model villages with a total of 2,400 houses all across Sri Lanka under Indian grant assistance of 120 crore rupees. These houses are in addition to the 60,000 houses built under the Indian Housing Project meant for war-affected people in the North and East and the estate workers in the plantation areas. The overall development portfolio of Government of India in Sri Lanka is close to 3 billion US Dollars, out of which 560 million US Dollars are in grants.

  • Indian and US officials have agreed to pursue a policy environment conducive to collaboration between the defence industry and start-ups in both countries. An understanding in this regard was reached during the 15th meeting of the India-US Defence Policy Group (DPG) in Washington . The meeting took stock of the progress made in various fields of defence cooperation in recent years, including in defence trade, technology, procurement, industry, research and development.



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