New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned home after a five-nation tour which began on June 4. He visited Afghanistan, Qatar, Switzerland, US and Mexico in the trip which saw a number of significant steps being taken by India and the host nations. A few days ago, Modi also made a historic visit to Iran.
Here is a look at the high points of Modi’s visit to each of these six countries:
IRAN (May 22-23): India and Iran signed 12 agreements ranging from a pact to develop the strategic Chahabar port to that of setting up an aluminium plant. They also inked one agreement on laying a railway line to give India connectivity to Afghanistan and Central Asia. Agreements were also signed on culture, science and academic cooperation.
AFGHANISTAN (June 4): PM Modi and Afghanistani President Ashraf Ghani formally inaugurated the $290-million Salma Dam by jointly pressing a remote-control button that sent water surging through turbines. The dam (Afghan-India Friendship Dam) will provide up to 42 MW power to the country’s rapidly growing industrial hub and also irrigate region devastated by drought. Modi was also conferred Afghanistan’s highest civilian award during this visit.
QATAR (June 4-5): India and Qatar signed seven agreements to boost bilateral ties between them. The pacts were signed in the presence of Prime Minister Modi and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani. The agreements are on investment and infrastructure, intelligence related to money laundering and terrorism-financing, skill development and entrepreneurship, tourism, health, youth and sports.
Modi, during this visit, also raised the issue of Indian workers facing abuse in Qatar and the latter assured to look into it. Qatar also released 23 Indian prisoners in the wake of Modi’s visit.
SWITZERLAND (June 6): Modi also had a fruitful visit to Switzerland during which the latter backed India’s bid to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The two sides also supported each other on the non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council besides taking up the black money and tax evasion issue. Other issues that came up during the bilateral talks were: vocational education, renewable energy and investment in India.
UNITED STATES (June 6-8): This was the most high-profile of all the visits since it involved the world’s only superpower and India’s own interests in key issues. During his fourth visit to the US in less than two years, Modi and US President Barack Obama spoke and presided over a number of issues.
MEXICO (June 9): During Modi’s visit to Mexico, the final country in his latest itinerary, he was driven to a restaurant for dinner by none other than the country’s President Enrique Pena Nieto himself. Mexico backed India’s NSG bid during the Indian PM’s visit.
The two countries also issued a joint statement during this brief visit by the Indian PM which mentioned, among others:
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