India and Italy are walking shoulder to shoulder in the fight against terrorism and separatism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said
India and Italy decided to elevate their bilateral ties to a Strategic Partnership during talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in New Delhi on Thursday. The two sides also agreed to begin a new chapter of defence cooperation. Speaking at a joint press meet after the talks, he said, “Our discussions today were very useful and very meaningful. This year India and Italy are celebrating the 75th anniversary of their bilateral relations. And on this occasion, we have decided that we would give the status of Strategic Partnership to India-Italy partnership”. Stating that India and Italy were beginning a new chapter of defence cooperation, Prime Minister Modi on Thursday said opportunities were being created for co-production and co-development in the defence manufacturing sector in India, which can be beneficial for both the countries. “We have also decided to organize regular joint exercises and training courses between the armed forces of both the countries. India and Italy are walking shoulder to shoulder in the fight against terrorism and separatism. We discussed in detail on how to further strengthen this cooperation,” he added. The Prime Ministers also announced the setting up of a Startup Bridge between India and Italy. According to PM Modi, the two leaders emphasized on further strengthening their economic ties. “Our "Make in India" and "Atmanirbhar Bharat" campaigns are opening up great investment opportunities in India. We laid special emphasis on increasing cooperation in areas like Renewable Energy, Green Hydrogen, IT, semiconductors, telecom and space. Today we are announcing the establishment of a Startup Bridge between India and Italy, and we welcome this decision”. ‘Ukraine conflict can only be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy’ During their talks, PM Modi and PM Meloni highlighted how all countries had been affected by the crisis of food, fuel and fertilizers arising out of the Covid pandemic and the Ukraine conflict. “These have had a particularly negative impact on the developing countries. We have expressed our shared concern about this and have emphasized upon joint efforts to solve these problems. We are also giving priority to this subject during India's G20 presidency,” PM Modi said. The Indian Prime Minister used the opportunity to reiterate that dialogue and diplomacy were the only way out of the Ukraine crisis. “From the very beginning of the Ukraine conflict, India has made it clear that this dispute can only be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy and India is fully prepared to contribute to any peace process,” he pointed out. Prime Minister Modi welcomed Italy's active participation in the Indo-Pacific. It is a matter of great pleasure that Italy has decided to join the Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative, he said. “This will enable us to identify concrete themes for enhancing our cooperation in the Indo-Pacific,” he noted. The two Prime Ministers also discussed the issue of reforms in multilateral institutions, saying they were necessary to reflect global realities in a better manner. Referring to the centuries old cultural and people-to-people ties between India and Italy, Prime Minister Modi said they had a discussion on giving a new shape and new energy to these relations according to the needs of the present times. “The ongoing talks between the two countries on the Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement are of special importance. The early conclusion of this agreement will further strengthen our people-to-people relations,” he pointed out. The two leaders emphasized the need to promote cooperation between higher education institutions of the two countries. Additionally, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the relations between India and Italy, they decided to make an action plan to showcase the diversity, history, science and technology, innovation, sports and achievements of both the countries on a global platform.