New Delhi: The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, visited Ireland on September 23rd, 2015, and held bilateral talks with the Prime Minister of Ireland, Mr. Enda Kenny.
Shri Narendra Modi was received on arrival at Dublin Airport by Mr. Leo Varadkar, the Irish Minister for Health.
He was later warmly received by the Prime Minister of Ireland, Mr. Enda Kenny, at the Government Buildings in Dublin.
The Prime Minister presented to Mr. Kenny, reproductions of a selection of manuscripts and papers pertaining to two Irish officials, Thomas Oldham and Sir George Abraham Grierson, in recognition of their contributions in India.
The Irish Prime Minister presented to Shri Narendra Modi, an Ireland cricket jersey, and a “hurling” kit. Hurling is one of the major sports in Ireland. Shri Modi also signed the visitors’ book at the Irish Prime Minister’s Office.
In their opening remarks during the working luncheon, both leaders noted that an Indian Prime Minister was visiting Ireland after nearly 60 years. Shri Modi referred to the common shared values between the two countries. He mentioned the friendship between Rabindranath Tagore and W.B. Yeats.
Shri Narendra Modi made a strong pitch for closer partnership and cooperation between the two countries. The two sides exchanged views on a broad range of international challenges, including terrorism, radicalization, and the situation in Europe and Asia. The Prime Minister sought Ireland’s support for the reforms of the UN Security Council within a fixed time frame. He also sought Ireland’s support for India’s membership of the NSG and other international export control regimes.
The Prime Minister later interacted with members of the Indian community in Ireland. 20 Irish students of the John Scottus school, a local school which teaches Sanskrit, recited Sanskrit shlokas to welcome the Prime Minister. In his remarks, the Prime Minister expressed profound admiration for the teachers of these students, as well as for the students, for the high quality of their recitation.
The Prime Minister spoke of the vast shared values and common heritage between India and Ireland, which, he said, included the struggle for freedom. He said India would be a part of Ireland’s celebrations of the centenary of their freedom struggle, in 2016.
The Prime Minister talked about the changes happening in India. He said India is the fastest growing major economy in the world. Not long ago, he mentioned, the “I” in BRICS (referring to the BRICS countries) was shaky, but today it is the strongest element of the BRICS.
Shri Narendra Modi mentioned how Yoga had been accepted the world over, with the adoption of the International Yoga Day by the United Nations. He said the world would pay attention to India, if India is strong. He said that the world had acknowledged already that the 21st century would be an Asian century. He added that for the first time, the possibility was arising that it could also be an Indian century. The Prime Minister said that if current levels of growth could be sustained for 30 years, India could eliminate poverty. He said that with 65 percent of India’s population below the age of 35, he believed that the youthful nation should be able to accomplish this goal.
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