Held fruitful talks with Italian PM Meloni: PM Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held fruitful talks with visiting Italian PM Giorgia Meloni, that were focused on deepening ties in defence cooperation and startups, as both countries elevated their ties to a strategic partnership.
The two side also inked a Declaration of Intent of Migration and Mobility Partnership.
PM Modi in a tweet said:
“Had fruitful talks with PM @GiorgiaMeloni, which were focussed on boosting India-Italy cooperation in sectors such as commerce, renewable energy, IT, space and upcoming sectors like semi-conductors and green hydrogen. Deepening ties in StartUps and defence were discussed too.
“In order to boost people-to-people relations between India and Italy, we also talked about augmenting cooperation in education and culture. Close India-Italy relations will greatly benefit the people of our countries.”
Italy also joined the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative.
In his media address after holding delegation level talks with the visiting Italian PM, PM Modi said that both sides have decided to set up a Start Up Bridge.
The two countries have also decided to work in the area of defence cooperation, including defence manufacturing, co-production, and co-development. “It will be very useful for both sides,” PM Modi said, adding that this would also include joint exercises and joint training.
Both sides also agreed to strengthen cooperation in working against terrorism and separatism.
He said the Migration and Mobility partnership which they are negotiating would strengthen people-to-people ties.
Both sides are also aiming for cooperation between their higher education institutions, he added.
They have also drawn up an action plan to celebrate 75 years of their bilateral ties, through cultural events, Science-Tech, sports events.
He also welcomed Italy’s decision to join the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative, which he said would help in increasing their areas of cooperation.
Both also held talks on reform of multilateral institutions.
Italian PM Meloni, in her remarks, said Italy wants to further boost relations with India.
“And this is why we have decided to turn our partnership into a strategic one,” she added.
She said their trade ties, which stands at 15 billion euros has doubled in two years, and “I believe we can do more”.
“We are a 2,000 year old civilisation, and there are many elements that bring us close to each other, to preserve the identity of one’s own people.”
Meloni said the two sides want to work together in defence and energy security. “India has set up major objectives in this connection,” she said, adding the two sides want to work together in renewable energy. “This is a sector where we can cooperate and have full convergence on this.”
On digital transactions, she said the two sides are working on projects, and also on emerging technology, cyber security, space.
“We have decided to join the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative,” Meloni said, adding that in the international scenario it is very important to guarantee stability.
She also commented laughingly that the approval rating of PM Modi is very high and he is the moved loved leader in the world.
PM Modi has been pegged as the world’s most popular leader with an approval rating of 78 per cent as per a survey.
Earlier, PM Meloni was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhawan.
In the evening, she called on President Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The President said that as modern and mature democracies, India and Italy are committed to achieve economic growth based on rule of law, respect for human rights, and inclusive development, the Rashtrapati Bhavan said in a tweet.
PM Meloni’s state visit is the first bilateral VVIP visit from Italy to India after five years.
She arrived in India accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajan and a high powered business delegation.
The last Prime Ministerial visit from Italy to India took place in October 2018.
The joint statement said that “the two Prime Ministers welcomed the steady deepening of defence cooperation between the two countries in the last two years, underscoring the need to further enhance mutual engagement in this field through the conclusion of an MOU on Defence Cooperation.
“The two leaders agreed on the potential for defence equipment co-development and co-production in India. PM Modi invited Italian defence companies to actively participate in Make in India initiative.”

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