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Diplomatic Dispatch (1-21 May, 2022)

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Hello and Welcome to Diplomatic Dispatch where we compile India's diplomatic activities and publish them every fortnight. In this digest read about PM Modi's successful visit to Europe and Nepal. You can download the above pdf file for a better reading experience. Happy Reading.

1. PM Visit to Germany, Denmark, and France (May 2-4, 2022)

The Europe trip was PM Modi’s first trip abroad in 2022. The three-day trip visit to Germany, Denmark, and France was also centred around the Russia-Ukraine War. Apart from the Ukraine crises, various issues, including climate change, environment, Indian diaspora, economic opportunities, etc., were discussed among the leaders.

On May 02, 2022, India and Germany released a joint statement highlighting the mutual trust between the two countries. PM Modi and Chancellor Olaf Scholz highlighted their commitment to economic recovery from the Covid-19 Pandemic and to hold the global average temperature below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. During the 6th India-Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations, nine agreements were signed between the two countries.

1. The Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) on Green and Sustainable Development Partnership. Under this agreement, Germany has agreed to make an advance commitment of 10 billion euros of new and additional development assistance until 2030.

2. JDI on implementing Triangular Development Cooperation, where India and Germany will cooperate in third country projects. As per the European Commission, A third country is a country that is not a member of the European Union as well as a country or territory whose citizens do not enjoy the European Union's right to free movement, as defined in Article 2(5) of the Regulation (EU) 2016/399 (Schengen Borders Code)

3. JDI on establishing an agreement on the exchange and mutual protection of classified information and an agreement to develop a direct encrypted connection between MEA and the German Foreign Office.

4. Indo-German Development Cooperation Regarding Renewable Energy Partnership

5. Joint Declaration on the Initialing of the Agreement on a Comprehensive Migration and Mobility Partnership.

6. JDI on the continuation of cooperation in the field of advanced training of corporate executives and junior executives from India. Under this cooperation, Indian and German stakeholders will come together both in the field of defence manufacturing, co-designing, co-development, and as part of discussions on global developments.

7. Indo-German Green Hydrogen Task Force

8. JDI on Agroecology

9. JDI on Forest Landscape Restoration

Source: MEA

On May 03, 2022, PM Modi met with PM of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen in Copenhagen for bilateral talks. Both the leaders signed a number of agreements covering sectors such as green shipping, animal husbandry, dairying, water management, energy, cultural exchange etc.

1. Declaration of Intent (DoI) on Migration and Mobility

2. Letter of Intent (LoI) between Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, GOI and Ministry of Business, Industry and Financial Affairs of Denmark on Centre of Excellence in Green Shipping and to strengthen bilateral maritime cooperation.

3. Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) between the Ministry of Culture, GoI and Ministry of Culture of Denmark for the years 2022-2026

4. Letter of Intent (LoI) between the Ministry of Jal Shakti and the Ministry of Environment of Denmark to enhance existing cooperation and launch new initiatives, including a Smart Laboratory on Clean River Water in Varanasi and a Centre of Excellence on Smart Water Resources Management.

5. MoU on Cooperation in the field of Skill Development, Vocational Education and Entrepreneurship

6. Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) on Cooperation in the fields of Animal Husbandry and Dairy

7. Launch of Energy Policy Dialogue at Ministerial level

8. India to join as a mission partner to ICARS (International Centre for Anti-Microbial Resistance Solution)

9. Letter of Intent between Invest India and Technical University of Denmark to facilitate start-up collaboration

Source: MEA

On May 04, 2022, PM Modi met with the PM of Norway Jonas Gahr Støre, the PM of Sweden Magdalena Andersson, the PM of Iceland Katrín Jakobsdóttir, the PM of Finland Sanna Marin, and the PM of Denmark Mette Frederiksen for the 2nd India-Nordic Summit in Copenhagen.

1. The countries pledged to continue to deepen cooperation between the Nordic Countries and India.

2. The Nordic Prime Ministers condemned the unlawful aggression against Ukraine by Russian Forces and expressed their concerns about the ongoing humanitarian crises in Ukraine.

3. The PMs affirmed their strong commitment to multilateralism and international cooperation.

4. India and the Nordic Countries affirmed their support for a rule-based international order.

5. The leaders addressed climate change and pledged to protect the natural environment according to the Paris Agreement, the Global Biodiversity Framework, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The leaders also discussed collaboration on environmental sustainability, including clean water, clean air, and circular economy.

6. The PMs agreed that the blue economy can deliver economic growth, new jobs, improved nutrition, and increased food security. The leaders also agreed on the benefits of partnering on transforming the shopping industry towards a low carbon future through exchange of good practices and technology transfers.

7. The PMs also pushed for digitalization and the Nordic countries noted that Digital India is an example of government services made more easily available to citizens electronically.

8. The leaders also saw opportunities for increased cooperation in the Arctic on polar research, climate, and environmental issues.

9. The Prime Ministers agreed that a strong partnership between India and Nordic countries can help promote innovation, economic growth, climate friendly solutions and mutually beneficial trade and investments.

Source: MEA

On 04, 2022, PM Modi met with the President of the French Republic H.E. Mr. Emmanuel Macron for a brief working visit.

1. India and France reaffirmed their commitment to prepare for the future together by further deepening their cooperation.

2. India and France agreed to build strategic partnerships for advancing peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indi-Pacific region. Both the countries share a vision of a free, open and rules-based Indo-Pacific region, based on commitment international law, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, freedom of navigation and a region free from coercion, tensions and conflicts. Besides bilateral cooperation, India and France agreed to develop new partnerships in various formats with like-minded countries in the region and within regional organisations.

3. Both the leaders expressed deep concern about the current aggravation of global food security and nutrition, already impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, and especially in developing countries. They committed themselves to enable a coordinated, multilateral response to address the risk of aggravated food crisis because of the conflict in Ukraine, including through initiatives such as the Food and Agriculture Resilience Mission (FARM), which aims at ensuring well-functioning markets, solidarity and long-term resilience.

4. India and France expressed serious concern at the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. They unequivocally condemned civilian deaths in Ukraine and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities to bring parties together to promote dialogue and diplomacy to find an immediate end to the people's suffering. Both countries underlined the need to respect UN Charter, international law, and states' sovereignty and territorial integrity. The two leaders discussed the regional and global implications of the conflict in Ukraine and agreed to intensify coordination on the issue.

5. Both the leaders reaffirmed their strategic cooperation and welcomed the ongoing intense cooperation across all defence domains. Joint exercises (Shakti, Varuna, Pegase, Desert Knight, Garuda) illustrate efforts towards better integration and interoperability wherever possible. India and France also underscored that the long-standing armament cooperation is testimony to the mutual trust between the two sides.

6. India and France have agreed on setting up a bilateral strategic dialogue on space issues. It will bring together experts from space and defence agencies, administration, and specialised ecosystem to discuss security and economic challenges in outer space, the norms and principles applicable to space, and unveil new areas of cooperation.

7. The two sides have launched a number of initiatives to connect their Start-up ecosystems and welcome recent public-private engagement to work together, based on their respective successes, on building standards and protocols for free, inclusive, innovative and open public digital infrastructure and solutions to transform the lives of the people and for the larger global good. India will be the first Country of the Year at this year’s edition of Vivatech, Europe’s largest digital fair, in Paris.

8. Building upon the implementation of the Indo-French roadmap on cyber security and digital technology, India and France reiterated their willingness to deepen their cooperation on exascale technology, based upon the fruitful collaboration between C-DAC and ATOS, which includes making supercomputers in India.

9. Both countries also expressed their willingness to coordinate actively in the run up to the third edition of the "No Money for Terror” international Conference to be hosted by India in 2022.

10. India and France agreed to jointly promote the adoption of a strong and ambitious legally binding instrument to end plastic pollution, while respecting the principle of national circumstances and capability in taking actions to address plastic pollution. Both sides also called for immediate collective voluntary actions by countries to tackle plastic pollution urgently and continually.

11. Prime Minister Modi invited President Macron to visit India at his earliest convenience to hold detailed discussions on the areas of cooperation outlined during the visit and to finalise the modalities of realising the goals thus identified.

Source: MEA

2. President Ram Nath Kovind’s Visit to Jamaica, St. Vincent, and Grenadines – May 15-21, 2022

Between May 15 and 21, President Ram Nath Kovind along with his wife Savita Kovind visited Jamaica, St. Vincent and Grenadines. President Kovind became the first Indian President to visit Jamaica through this visit. This first-ever visit from India to Jamaica is crucial as it reflected India’s commitment to small island developing states and to CARICOM, the Caribbean community, of which both these countries are members. This visit is also significant as both India and Jamaica are celebrating the 60th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between two countries. The year 2022 also marks the 176th anniversary of the arrival of Indians in Jamaica.

On May 17, 2022, President Kovind inaugurated the ‘India-Jamaica Friendship Garden’ at the Hope Gardens, Jamaica, and planted a sapling. The President also addressed a Special Sitting of the Houses of Parliament of Jamaica. India and Jamaica issued a joint press statement in which it is mentioned that

1. Both the countries highlighted that the Visit demonstrated the strength and depth of India-Jamaica ties which pre-dated the formal establishment of diplomatic relations, beginning more than 175 years ago, with the arrival of the first Indians in Jamaica in 1845. They noted that Jamaica currently had a 70,000 strong Indian diaspora. The President and the Governor-General further agreed that the Visit was a demonstration of the mutual desire of the countries to reinvigorate and further strengthen their warm and close bilateral relationship.

2. Both the countries expressed satisfaction at the steady growth in bilateral trade and investments, while observing that there was scope for further cooperation. They agreed to encourage enhanced trade and economic relations, in light of the mutually beneficial complementarities and convergence. They called upon the private sector of both countries to explore and take advantage of the pro-business climate existing in both countries.

3. The two leaders identified areas for cooperation such as health and pharmaceuticals, including traditional medicine; ICT; logistics and infrastructure; agriculture; mining; and tourism. They noted the immense potential for expanding cooperation in the Knowledge and Business Processing sectors, given Jamaica’s strategic location and talented pool of English-speaking workforce.

4. The Prime Minister of Jamaica lauded India's support in education and training over the years, particularly through the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme and Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Scholarships. He expressed appreciation for the increase of ITEC training slots and scholarships from 30 to 50, increase of ICCR scholarships from 1 to 5, and the announcement of 4 slots for defence training, to Jamaica. The two leaders underlined the opportunities for further cooperation in the education and training sector and sports.

5. Prime Minister Holness also commended India for its leadership in South-South cooperation and placed on record his sincere appreciation for the socio-economic development projects to be undertaken in Kitson Town, St. Catherine, with Indian developmental assistance.

6. Two leaders underlined the excellent cooperation between India and Jamaica in the regional and multilateral fora, including the United Nations (UN), Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Commonwealth. They emphasized the need for the urgent reform of the UN Security Council, including its expansion in both categories of membership, to make it more representative, accountable, effective and responsive to the geopolitical realities of the 21st century.

7. The two sides noted that international terrorism is a scourge and a threat to the entire civilized world. They called for expanding bilateral cooperation in the field of defence and security.

8. The President and the Prime Minister expressed appreciation for the role played by the vibrant Indian community in Jamaica in strengthening the bilateral relationship and in the economic and socio-cultural development of Jamaica. The President of India conveyed his appreciation for the warmth, goodwill and support extended to the Indian Diaspora by the Government and people of Jamaica.

9. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service, Ministry of External Affairs of India, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica.

Source: MEA

Between May 19- 21, 2022, President Kovind visited St. Vincent and Grenadines (SVG). In SVG, President Kovind met Governor-General Dougan and PM Gonsalves and discussed strengthening cooperation in the fields of IT, health, education, tourism, and culture.

- The two countries signed MoUs on Exchange of Information and Assistance in Collection of Taxes and on ‘Refurbishment of Old Carter Community Centre’ in the presence of Kovind, Dougan and Gonsalves

- President Kovind addressed the House Assembly of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on the topic “India and SVG - Towards an Inclusive World Order”.

- President Kovind also addressed the Indian origin community in Kingstown, and said that India’s partnership with SVG is based on the ‘spirit of universal brotherhood’. He lauded the Indian community for their contribution to the development of SVG as their adopted home.

- President Kovind renamed ‘Calder Road’ to ‘India Drive’ in presence of SVG PM Gonsalves.

- He also presented a symbolic gift of eight cricket kits to the local cricket association in SVG, as a mark of cricket cooperation between the two nations.

Source: Times Now News

3. PM's Visit to Lumbini, Nepal (May 16, 2022)

On the occasion of Budhh Purnima, PM Modi visited Lumbini, Lord Buddha’s birthplace in Nepal. PM Modi’s visit to Nepal on Budhh Purnima highlighted that the shared culture between India and Nepal is far more precious than Chinese finances in Nepal. This visit was aimed at strengthening the historical and cultural relationship with Nepal. Nepal is also closely associated with China, who is trying to exert its influence in Nepal. Due to which, India-Nepal relations experienced certain hiccups and this visit was aimed at mending the soared relations using soft power. Through this visit, PM Modi also tried to strengthen the Buddhist tourism circuit and the Ramayana trail, which is shared by both India and Nepal.

Along with solidifying the historical ties, PM Modi and PM Sher Bahadur Deuba signed and exchanged crucial bilateral agreements in fields of education, culture, energy, infrastructure, etc.

1. Memorandum of Understanding between Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Lumbini Buddhist University on the establishment of Dr. Ambedkar Chair for Buddhist Studies

2. Memorandum of Understanding between Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and CNAS, Tribhuvan University on the establishment of ICCR Chair of Indian Studies

3. Memorandum of Understanding between Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Kathmandu University (KU) on the establishment of the ICCR Chair of Indian Studies

4. Memorandum of Understanding [in collaboration] between Kathmandu University (KU), Nepal and Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M), India

5. Letter of Agreement (LoA) between Kathmandu University (KU), Nepal and Indian Institute of Technology (IITM), India [ For Joint degree program at Master’s level

6. Agreement between SJVN Ltd and Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) for Development and implementation of Arun 4 Project

Source: MEA

Earlier when Prime Minister of Nepal visited Delhi in April, 2022, some important projects were launched with the cooperation of two countries.

- Launch and operationalisation of 35 km long cross border rail link from Jaynagar in Bihar to Kurtha in Nepal

- Inauguration of the 90 km long 132 KV Solu Corridor transmission line built with Indian Line of Credit at a cost of INR 200 crore

- Launch of RuPay Card in Nepal