I dream of a strong and independent SAARC, Modi tells nation premiers

Modi thanks 8 heads individually in bilateral talks this morning, ensuring them full cooperation

New Delhi: India Prime Minister Narendra Modi envisages a strong and independent SAARC region and conveyed as much to the eight SAARC leaders who were invited to India to attend his oath-taking ceremony.

Narendra Modi thanked them individually in bilateral talks this morning, ensuring them full cooperation from India on mutually-beneficial areas, to strengthen and expand interaction at various levels with these countries.

Narendra Modi with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif agreed that the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries will be in touch to see how move forward on the bilateral relations.

Briefing the media on the meeting between the two leaders, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh said Modi raised India's concerns relating to terrorism.

He remarked that Pakistan must abide by its commitment to prevent territory of Pakistan and the territory under its control used to spread terrorism in India.

Modi also hoped that necessary steps will be taken to expedite the trial in Pakistan relating to Mumbai terror attack case and ensure punishment to the accused.

Singh said they decided that the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries would be in touch to explore how to move forward.

Narendra Modi with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai

In his first bilateral meeting with international leaders after assuming charge, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday held talks with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai. The meeting with Karzai followed Modi's talks with Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom at the ceremonial Hyderabad House here.

In their more than half an hour meeting, Modi and Karzai discussed ways to enhance cooperation in the wake of NATO combat troops withdrawal from the war-torn country.

Modi was assisted in the talks by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh among others. Both Karzai and Gayoom arrived on Monday along with other SAARC heads of government and states to attend Modi's swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

During the meeting both sides tried to understand the common challenges and discussed ways to enhance cooperation in key areas.

Narendra Modi with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse

Narendra Modi called on Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse to speed up reconciliation with the island's ethnic Tamil minority after a decades-long separatist war that left at least 100,000 people dead.
"Sri Lanka should expedite the process of national reconciliation in a manner that meets the aspirations of the Tamil community for a life of equality and dignity in a united Sri Lanka," Singh said of the meeting.

Narendra Modi with Bangladesh Speaker Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhary

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his meeting with Bangladesh Speaker Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhary sought further cooperation from Bangladesh in areas of mutual interest, and hoped that the country continues to be an important partner leading to the development of both nations.

"The Prime Minister noted that we have shared stakes in each other's prosperity and Bangladesh was India's largest trading partner in SAARC. He also appreciated the cooperation extended by Bangladesh to India in all areas of mutual cooperation including security, power, Border management, rail and road transport," Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh told media here on Tuesday evening.

"The PM expressed the Indian Government's commitment on maintaining and building upon the momentum that has characterized India and Bangladesh relations," she added.

She also said that the Prime Minister conveyed his warm greetings and best wishes to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and hoped to receive her in India at an early date.

The two leaders are believed to have held consultations on issues of mutual interest related to the two countries.

Narendra Modi with Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala

Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh on Tuesday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his meeting with Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, expressed his determination to further strengthen connectivity and economic inter-linkages between the two countries.

"In his meeting with Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, the Prime Minister noted that Nepal was an old and deeply valued friend with whom India shared history, geography and ancient civilizational ties. He said that it was his earnest desire to visit Nepal this year, said Singh.

She also said that the PM expressed his appreciation over the political progress of Nepal and conveyed his hope that the Constitution would adopted in the one year time-frame that Nepal had set for itself. Both Prime Ministers met at Hyderabad House here today.

Narendra Modi with Mauritius Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam

Mauritius Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam on Tuesday said the country has decided to provide automatic exchange of tax information with India.

On fears of money-laundering through Mauritius, he said: “We will not allow anybody to abuse or misuse our jurisdiction.”

Inviting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Mauritius, Ramgoolam said that he wanted a quick resolution of issues on tax treaty with India.

( Source : pti/ani/dc )
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