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February 2019 - Bilateral News



  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj raised the recent Pulwama terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir in her bilateral meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at Wuzhen on 27 February 2019. In her opening remarks during the meeting held on the sidelines of Russia, India, China (RIC) Foreign Ministers' meeting, Mrs Swaraj said, she is visiting China at a time when there is grief and anger in India. Terming the attack as worse directed against the security forces, the External Affairs Minister said, the attack was carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), the Pakistan-based and supported terrorist organization.

    Mrs Swaraj also said, JeM is banned by the UN and other countries, and the attack is the direct result of the impunity and cover provided to the terror group and its leaders by Pakistan. She also told Mr Wang that this is their first meeting this year and therefore an opportune time for the two sides to take stock of the bilateral relations and look ahead for cooperation. Mrs Swaraj is also scheduled to meet her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. India's pre-emptive airstrike at a JeM terror camp in Balakot, the Pulwama attack and the listing of JeM Chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN are expected to figure during the RIC Foreign Ministers' meeting scheduled to be held later on 27 February 2019.


  • India and Morocco on 18 February, 2019 signed four MoUs following the delegation-level talks between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita in Rabat. After the meeting, Mrs. Swaraj said, the MoUs include setting up of Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism, Cooperation in Housing and Human Settlement, Reciprocal facilitation of procedures for issue of Business Visa and Cooperation in Youth Matters.

    External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, both countries agreed to set up a Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism to develop a comprehensive approach to combat the menace, including cross- border terrorism, terrorist financing and recruitment of terrorists. Mrs Swaraj and her Moroccan counterpart discussed ways to enhance bilateral cooperation in a number of areas, including defence and security, counter-terrorism and trade and investment.

    Mrs Swaraj reached Rabat on her maiden visit to Morocco from Bulgaria on 18 February, 2019. She is on a four-day three-nation tour to Bulgaria, Morocco and Spain as part of India's efforts to strengthen ties with these countries and expand avenues of cooperation. She also handed over to Mr. Bourita a letter from Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed to the country's King Mohammed VI. Mrs Swaraj began the second leg of her tour with an important meeting with Prime Minister of Morocco Saadeddine Othmani.


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Seoul on 21 February, 2019 on a two-day visit to South Korea. Mr. Modi will hold bilateral talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and receive the Seoul Peace Prize in recognition of his dedication to international cooperation, global growth and human development.

    Besides summit meeting with President Moon Jae-in, Prime Minister Modi will also have a number of engagements with the Korean leadership, businesses and Indian Community. "In a few hours from now, Prime Minister will address the India-Korea Business Symposium and will also launch India-Korea Startup Hub. It will be a great push and assurance for more Korean companies to invest in India and also a boost for bilateral trade.

    At present bilateral trade is around 21 billion dollars and is targeted to reach 50 billion dollars by 2030. Another important aspect is the strengthening of Cultural relations which speaks volumes of India's soft power. Prime Minister will meet the mayor of Kemah city which is believed to have ancient ties with the city of Ayodhya. It acts as a catalyst for people to people relations. As part of the global celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Prime Minister will unveil a bust of Mahatma at the Seoul Campus of Yonsei University. He will also interact with the Indian community in South Korea. Bilateral talks with President Moon will take place on 22 February, 2019.


  • PM Narendra Modi holds talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-In in Seoul. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that India Korea relations have reached to new heights. In a one to one talk with Korean President Moon Jae In in Seoul, Prime Minister Modi said that Special strategic partnership between both the countries is very significant not only for India but also for the world. Referring to last terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama, President Moon said that terrorism is a menace against civilization and humanity and it cannot be justified.

    Later, a delegation level talks was also held between the two leaders. The two countries signed seven MoUs in different fields including Communication and Trade and Industry. Addressing a Joint press conference with the South Korean leader, Mr. Modi expressed his gratitude to President Moon for his condolences on Pulwama Attack and support against terrorism. Mr. Modi said, MoU signed between the two countries will further take forward counter-terrorism agenda. Mr. Modi said, defence sector is an important part of our growing partnership with South Korea and induction of K-9 Vajra artillery gun in Indian Army is an example of this.

    Mr. Modi said, time has come for the world communities to act of terrorism. He said, President Moon played an important role in bringing peace in the region. President Moon offered condolence to loss of lives in Pulwama attack. He said, terrorism is a crime against civilization and humanity. Earlier, the Prime Minister was given ceremonial welcome at the President House. He visited National Cemetery of Korea and paid his tributes. Later in the day, the Prime Minister will be conferred with Seoul Peace Prize.


  • MEA Sushma Swaraj to be on four-day visit to Bulgaria, Morocco & Spain from 16th February. 
    Mrs. Swaraj will begin her tour with a visit to Bulgaria where she will meet with the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the country.  The External Affairs Ministry said, the two leaders will discuss bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest.

    In Morocco, the External Affairs Minister will interact with her counterpart Nasser Bourita, and also call on King Mohammed VI, King of Morocco, Saad Dine El Otmani, Head of Government, and Habib El Malki, President of the Chamber of Representatives. The visit is in pursuit of India's objective of enhanced engagement with the Kingdom and will provide an opportunity to hold in-depth discussions on various issues. Several MoUs are also expected to be signed during the visit.

    In Spain, Mrs. Swaraj will hold a bilateral meeting with her counterpart Josep Borrell Fontelles to discuss bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual concern. The Spanish government will also confer upon Mrs. Swaraj the Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit for India's swift response through Operation Maitri in rescuing 71 Spanish nationals from Nepal in 2015 in the wake of the disastrous earthquake.


  • India and China have signed the protocol for exports of Indian tobacco leaves to China. Quality tobacco on par with international standards is available in India at competitive prices and there is a good potential for export of Indian tobacco to China. According to an official release, the protocol was signed during the recent visit of Commerce Secretary, Dr. Anup Wadhawan to Beijing.

    It said, the revival of the phytosanitory protocol with China will pave the way for revival of Indian tobacco exports to China and prove economically beneficial to Indian farmers. Dr.Wadhawan also had bilateral meeting with Vice Minister of General Administration of China Customs, Zhang Jiwen for examining market access and quarantine issues for India’s agriculture and allied products.



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