India, Italy call for closer industrial and defence ties

India, Italy call for closer industrial and defence ties.

New Delhi, May 6 (IANS) India and Italy’s Foreign Ministers met on Friday and deliberated upon closer industrial collaboration, including in the field of defence, and made commitment to closely work in countering common challenges related to terrorism, violent extremism, and cyber crime.

On his first official visit to India, from May to 6, Italian Foreign Minister, Luigi Di Maio, held bilateral talks with his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar where they reviewed the full spectrum of bilateral relations, including the progress in implementation of the 2020-2024 action plan adopted at the virtual summit in November 2020.

Both the Ministers welcomed the growing bilateral trade and investment linkages and agreed to expand them in new areas of common interest.

They also discussed the implementation of the India-Italy strategic partnership on energy transition announced in 2021 during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Italy and agreed to explore partnerships in areas such as gas transportation, green hydrogen, bio-fuel and energy storage.

In addition, they agreed to jointly organise an India-Italy tech summit on energy transition and circular economy in New Delhi on November 17 this year.

The two leaders noted the potential for a closer industrial collaboration, including in the field of defence.

They reiterated their commitment to closely work in countering common challenges related to terrorism, violent extremism and cyber crime.

In the context of recent geopolitical developments, they also exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interests including Ukraine, Afghanistan and Indo-Pacific and cooperation in multilateral fora, including G20.

On Ukraine, the two Ministers expressed their concern on the ongoing humanitarian crisis and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities. They also underlined the importance to safeguard the international order based on the UN Charter, with special regard to the respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity.

During the visit, Di Maio also had a meeting with Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and co-chaired a business round-table which saw participation of top business leaders particularly in the energy, defence, sustainable mobility, and infrastructure sectors.

He had visited Bengaluru on Thursday, where he met Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and inaugurated the premises of the new Consulate General.

Di Maio also visited the Indian Space Research Organisation and the Indian Institute of Science along with representatives of their Italian counterparts, the Italian Space Agency and Elettra Sinctrotrone Trieste, with which scientific partnerships and joint projects are being developed.

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