May 2019 - Bilateral News



  • PM Narendra Modi to host Xi Jinping for an Summit. PM Modi will host Chinese President Xi Jinping this year for an informal summit, a foreign ministry spokesman said after meeting several times over the past year to try to defuse tension. The two held their first informal summit in Wuhan in April 2018 and at that meeting President Jinping had accepted PM Modi's invitation to come to India for a second meeting.


  • BIMSTEC leaders to hold bilateral meetings with PM Modi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a bilateral meeting with President of Kyrgyz Republic, Sooronbay Jeenbekov at Rashtrapati Bhawan. This was his first engagement after being sworn in as Prime Minister for the second term. The Kyrgyz President had attended the oath-taking ceremony as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Chair.

    Mr Modi will hold separate bilateral meetings in New Delhi with Bangladesh President Md. Abdul Hamid, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Kumar Jugnauth. He will also hold bilateral meetings with Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering.


  • India-Botswana Office Consultations held. The third round of Foreign Office Consultations between India and Botswana was held in New Delhi on 15 May 2019. The entire gamut of bilateral relations, including political, economic, commercial, defence, consular and international cooperation was reviewed. The Indian side was led by Joint Secretary, East and Southern Africa in the Ministry of External Affairs Dr. Neena Malhotra.


  • The 11th Joint Consular Committee Meeting between India and Iran took place in New Delhi on 14 May 2019. The status of ongoing cooperation in consular and visa related issues was reviewed in the meeting. Both sides discussed issues of mutual interest including the early conclusion of Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance on civil and commercial matters.


  • India-Singapore begins SIMBEX 2019 Naval Exercises in South China Sea. The Navies of India and Singapore are participating in the annual maritime bilateral exercise SIMBEX in the South China Sea. On 19 May 2019, the sea phase of the bilateral naval drill started and will continue till 22 May 2019.

    Various maritime combat exercises such as firing on aerial or surface targets, advanced aerial tracking, coordinated targeting exercises and tactical exercises on the surface or air scenarios is being conducted during the exercise. Naval ships INS Kolkata and INS Shakti taking part in the bilateral naval exercise, along with long-range maritime patrol aircraft Poseidon-8I. The Singapore side is being represented by RSN ships Steadfast and Valiant, maritime patrol aircraft Fokker-50 and F-16 fighter aircraft.

    The forces of India and Singapore share robust military ties. The South China Sea waters, which are claimed by many littoral states, have been witnessing muscling in of the Chinese navy. Over the years SIMBEX has stood the test of time in demonstrating the nation’s commitment to enhance maritime cooperation between the two navies and bolster bonds of friendship between the two countries.


  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will visit Kyrgyzstan on 21 May 2019. She will represent India at the 2-day meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). This will be the second CFM meeting that India will be attending as a full member of the SCO.


  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will attend the meeting of Council of Foreign Ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. She had a productive discussion with Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Aidarbekov on all aspects of bilateral relations, including in political and defence, trade and investment, health, capacity building and people-to-people ties.

    The Council of Foreign Ministers meeting will review the preparations for the forthcoming SCO Summit which will be held in Bishkek next month and also exchange views on topical issues of international and regional importance. The participating Foreign Ministers will call on Kyrgyz President Sooranbay Jeenbekov. This is the second Council of Foreign Ministers meeting that India is attending as a full member of SCO.


  • IN ships Kolkata and Shakti are continuing their stay at Singapore to participate in the annual Singapore India Maritime Bilateral Exercise SIMBEX-2019. It is being held from 16-22 May 2019. The Singapore side will be represented by RSN ships Steadfast and Valiant, maritime patrol aircraft Fokker-50 (F-50) and F-16 fighter aircraft.


  • US President Donald Trump and PM Narendra Modi agreed to meet at the G-20 Summit in Japan in June 2019. Both the leaders pledged to further strengthen the US-India strategic partnership and build on the achievements of the last two years. The G-20 Summit meeting is slated for June 28 and 29, 2019.


  • India and Vietnam reiterated the importance of building a peaceful and prosperous Indo-pacific region on the basis of respect for national sovereignty and international law. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and his Vietnamese counterpart Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh discussed a whole range of areas of cooperation in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.


  • India, Vietnam discuss ways to strengthen strategic partnership. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu held talks with Vietnamese Prime Minister Xuan Phuc in Hanoi. The two leaders discussed a wide range of issues and underscored the importance of strengthening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two nations to ensure peace and security in the region.

    Vice President reiterated that cordial and friendly relations between India and Vietnam have been strengthened by bonds of Buddhism and Hinduism. Referring to the growing cooperation between two nations in different fields, Mr Naidu informed Mr.Xuan Phuc that India is ready to partner with Vietnam in satellite construction, both for civilian and non-civilian uses.

    Vietnam Prime Minister's personal intervention in facilitating the entry of Indian pharmaceutical products into their country, the Vice President assured him that the Indian companies can provide high tech health systems and medicines for public health in Vietnam at an affordable cost. Mr Naidu attended the inaugural ceremony of Jaipur Artificial Limb Fitment camp at the Indian Embassy in Hanoi. Mr Naidu is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the 16th UN Day of Vesak Celebrations.


  • India, Iran to discuss impact of US ending waivers on import of Iranian oil. Foreign Minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif will hold talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi . The talks will primarily focus on the impact of the US ending waivers on import of Iranian oil and ways to deal with it. Both the leaders are expected to discuss the latest developments pertaining to the Iran nuclear deal also known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Mr Zarif arrived in New Delhi on a two-day visit to India. India is one of the most important partners of Iran and both countries have regular consultations on various issues.


  • US Navy Chief holds discussion with Indian Naval Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba.  Admiral John Michael Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations, US Navy held discussions with Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff. Mr Richardson also interacted with Defence Secretary, Vice Chief of the Army Staff, Chief of the Air Staff and the National Security Council Secretariat.

    Mr Richardson, who is on an official tour to India, intends to further consolidate bilateral naval relations between India and USA and also to explore new avenues for naval cooperation. Indian Navy and US Navy interact regularly at bilateral and multilateral forums. After being accorded Major Defence Partner status by USA in 2016, India - US ties have grown significantly in recent years.


  • Admiral John Michael Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations, US Navy, was on an official tour to India from 12 to 14 May 2019. His visit was intended to consolidate bilateral naval relations between India and the USA and also to explore new avenues for naval cooperation. Indian Navy and US Navy interact regularly and participate in maritime exercises such as MALABAR and RIMPAC.


  • Foreign Minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif held talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi on 14 May 2019. The talks primarily focused on the impact of the US ending waivers on import of Iranian oil and ways to deal with it. India is one of the most important partners of Iran and both countries have regular consultations on various issues.


  • The 11th Joint Consular Committee meeting between India and Iran took place on 14th May, 2019 in New Delhi. Both sides discussed the early conclusion of Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance on civil and commercial matters and extending the longer duration of e-Visa for each other nationals on reciprocity.

    The meeting provided an opportunity to review the status of ongoing cooperation in consular and visa related issues and to discuss ways and means to further expand people to people contacts and promote friendly exchanges between India and Iran. Joint Secretary in the External Affairs Ministry Amit Narang led the Indian side, while the Iran delegation was led by Director General for Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran Ali Asghar Mohammadi.


  • India gives 2 Mi-24 helicopters to Afghanistan. India handed over a pair of Mi-24 helicopters to Afghanistan. They are given with the aim to strengthen the Afghan air force as it battles a deadly Taliban insurgency. The two Mi-24 helicopters are a replacement for the four attack helicopters previously gifted by India to Afghanistan in 2015.


  • India has expressed its full support for sustainable peace, economic development and stability in Afghanistan. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj gave this assurance to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's Special Envoy and High Peace Council Secretary Umer Daudzai in New Delhi. Mr Daudzai briefed the Minister on the outcome of the recently held Loya Jirga in the country.

    Both sides also discussed India’s role in Regional Peace Consensus with regards to Afghanistan, progress in peace talks and bilateral relations. Mr Daudzai also met National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Vijay K Gokhale.


  • India and the United States held the India-U.S. Bilateral Trade meeting in New Delhi on 6 May 2019. India appreciated the US Trade Winds Indo-Pacific Business Forum and Mission initiative 2019, being held at New Delhi. The forum will bring together distributors, representatives and partners and enable them to increase sales by taking part in business-to-business meetings from 8-10 May 2019.


  • India and the United States have agreed to strengthen economic co-operation and bilateral trade by ensuring greater collaboration amongst stakeholders. A bilateral trade meeting was held between the two countries in New Delhi on 7 May 2019. Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu and US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross co-chaired the meeting.


  • India and the US have agreed that the gains made in Afghanistan in the past 18 years have must be preserved and consolidated. During Khalilzad’s talks in New Delhi, it was agreed that Afghanistan’s political future is for Afghans to decide through an inclusive and legitimate process'. India has committed more than $3 billion to the reconstruction and rebuilding of Afghanistan since 2001.


  • India and Turkey vowed to strengthen economic relations with the aim of reaching 10 billion US dollars bilateral trade by 2020. Turkey's Deputy Foreign Minister SedatOnal held talks with Gitesh A Sarma, Secretary under the institutional mechanism of foreign office consultations. Other aspects such as enhanced cultural interaction, tourism, people-to-people contacts were also discussed.


  • Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu will undertake a three-day official trip to Vietnam from 9 May 2019. He will hold meetings with Vice-President of Vietnam Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. He will also meet beneficiaries of the Jaipur Foot Artificial Limb Fitment Camp organized in Vietnam under the 'India for Humanity' initiative.


  • Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attended the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Defence Ministers' meeting in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek on 29 April 2019. She is on a three-day visit to Kyrgyzstan. Mrs. Sitharaman will also hold bilateral meetings with her counterparts from some SCO member countries on the sidelines of the conclave.


  • Japan partnered with India for polishing technicians in the manufacturing sector. Japan’s Ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu inaugurated the Japan-India Institute for Manufacturing (JIM), at Andhra Pradesh. JIM is part of a Manufacturing Skill Transfer Promotion Programme initiated by the Government of Japan in India under a MoU signed by both countries in 2016.


  • The first part of the Indo-French joint naval exercise, Varuna 19.1 is being conducted off the Goa coast from 1-10 May 19. It includes the participation of the French Navy’s aircraft carrier FNS Charles de Gaulle, two destroyers, FNS Forbin and FNS Provence.

    The exercise will be conducted in 2 phases. The second part, Varuna 19.2, is scheduled to be held at the end of May in Djibouti.



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