New Delhi: Spain Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares paid his first official visit to India on Wednesday and held bilateral talks with India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar. Both of them reviewed the full spectrum of bilateral relationship in the meeting.
The two Ministers committed to add new depth and content to the relationship. There were detailed discussions focused on enhancing cooperation in the key priority areas of trade and investments, people-to-people relationship, climate cooperation, green energy, science & technology, innovation and defense & security.
They stressed on the need for regular meetings of bilateral institutional mechanisms and early finalization of MoUs/ Agreements under negotiation in various sectors. During the meeting, the Ministers signed the Joint Declaration of Intent on Cooperation in Cultural and Academic fields.
Airbus Spain will supply 56 C295 aircraft, 40 of which would be made in India, and both the ministers agreed to further deepen defense and security cooperation. They reiterated their commitment to work closely in countering common challenges related to terrorism, violent extremism and cyber crime.
They noted with satisfaction that the bilateral trade has resurged beyond pre-Covid levels and there is significant potential to grow even further. They agreed that there are more opportunities in sectors like IT, Pharma and renewables and there are new and unexplored emerging areas like green hydrogen, electric mobility, advanced materials, deep sea exploration where the two countries can collaborate further.
The Ministers also exchanged views on a number of regional and global issues of mutual interest and noted the mutual understanding and support in addressing common challenges like climate change, global health, sustainable development and counter-terrorism.
They welcomed the restart of India-EU FTA negotiations later this month. On Ukraine, the two ministers expressed their concern on the ongoing humanitarian crisis and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities. On Afghanistan, both sides highlighted the need for Afghanistan to have unhindered access to humanitarian assistance and that Afghan territory is not used by terror outfits for destabilizing the region.
They emphasized the need to retain strategic focus on the Indo-Pacific region and to promote collaborative efforts among like-minded nations.
They also agreed to explore collaboration in development partnership and economic activities in the LAC region and in this context discussed the Ibero-American Conference. Both Ministers appreciated the cooperation between India and Spain in the UN and other multilateral bodies.