The Minister of External Affairs Gopal Bagley averred that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second leg of the four-nation tour at Spain was a successful affair as the two nations agreed to strengthen ties on various issues. Bagley said that terrorism topped the charts of the conversation between Prime Minister Modi and his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy, as both the leaders recognized the malice as the gravest threat to the world and decide to work hand in glove to counter it. “He had a very restricted meeting with President MR Rajoy. Large section of conversation was devoted to terrorism. Both the leaders recognized terrorism as the gravest threat, which the world is facing today. They positively accessed the contribution and cooperation between India and Spain at the moment and also agreed to expand the cooperation and consultation between India and Spain to counter terrorism, extremism and radicalistion,” said Bagley.
Bagley said that during the visit, Prime Minister Modi also interacted with 14 top CEO’s of Spain and highlighted his key programs like, digital India, Make in India and Start-up India, while inviting them to strengthen the incumbent economic ties between the two nations. “Prime Minister then interacted with 14 CEO’s of Spain, who are captains of globally leading Spanish companies in very diverse areas; they are from aviation like Airbus, to IT tunneling, infrastructure, organ transplant, medical. Each CEO made a presentation to the Prime Minister, showing what Spain’s interests are. Most of those countries are already present in India, they have very good experience of working in India and they are expanding their operations in India. So the meeting came at a very good moment where the Prime Minister mentioned them about the government’s programme of Make in India, Digital India , smart cities, water management and number of areas,” Bagley said.
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“Our Prime Minister invited them to mount a very strong and large Spanish delegation of Business people to India later this year. The Captains of the Spanish industry welcomed it and they showed very deep and keen interest in expanding their economic ties with India, because India obviously presents a very good investment and economic cooperation opportunity. The two countries had signed seven agreements, which pertained to number of areas civil aviation, diplomatic academies, cyber securities and economic sphere as well education capacity building,” he added. Bagley further said that looking at the huge strength of Indians residing in Spain, the Prime Minister also proposed the idea of opening a consulate in Madrid, which was well received by government of Spain.
“The government also decided to open a new consulate in Barcelona. Spanish government has agreed to his request. It will help us promote ties between the nations in the modern and contemporary context as well,” Bagley said. Moving on, Bagley underlined that Prime Minister Narendra Modi also referred to the power of Indian films and invited Spain to partner with the Indian film industry“The Prime Minister also referred to the power of Indian films, not only Hindi but also regional and invited Spain to take advantage of the opportunities, not only to promote tourism but also to partner with the Indian film industry, which is a global industry now,” he said.
During his tenure, Prime Minister also called on King Phillip VI the monarch of Spain and had a very fruitful conversation on the matter of global importance, while emphasizing on economic ties of the two nations. “It was a very good meeting. Both the leaders hit-off very well and developed a very good rapport. As you know the king and his family have long standing association with India that provided one immediate basis to their conversation. But of course, given their wide interest and given the position of India and Spain on number of global matters of importance and the emphasis on economic cooperation, I think the meeting between Prime Minister and King Phillip went of very well,” Bagley said.
Bagley asserted that apart from a discussion on number of areas in economic sphere pertaining to science, astrophysics, wind energy, infrastructure, tourism and cultural relations, Prime Minister Modi and President Rajoy also discussed a number of areas of mutual interest in global and regional matters, like middle east situation in Syria and the situation in North-Korea. “They came up for discussion on North-Korea, both leaders expressed their concerns on the developments and hoped that better sense will prevail and member of the international community will act with sense of responsibility,” Bagley said.
Asserting that Prime Minister Modi’s trip to Spain was a short yet crucial one, Bagley said that Madrid felt elated in welcoming an Indian prime minister after three decades “It was a short trip. And when he was meeting the President of the government of Spain MR Rajoy, he mentioned that Spain felt very privileged to welcome an Indian Prime Minister after almost 30 years in Spain and although the visit is short it was very purposive and filled with lot of economic components,” said Bagley.