Dr. S. Jaishankar, the External Affairs Minister, has just concluded his two-nation visit to Cyprus and Austria, which saw a wide-ranging discussion on a gamut of issues, a reaffirmation of diplomatic relations with both nations, and the signing of agreements on various issues incorporating migration and mobility.
During Dr. S. Jaishankar’s visit to Cyprus, he held meetings on bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual interest. He further met the President of the House of Representatives and Annita Demetriou, the Acting President, and laid a wreath at the Mahatma Gandhi bust next to the Parliament.
The Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement that the President of the House of Representatives presented a set of commemorative stamps that were released by the Cyprus Post on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Independence of India and the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between two nations.
Dr. S. Jaishankar also met the Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ioannis Kasoulides. Both sides appreciated the exceptional bilateral relations and close collaboration between India and Cyprus. Both sides undertook a detailed review of bilateral relations, including economic, political, cultural, and commercial relations.
MoUs on defence and military cooperation and the Declaration of Intent on Migration and Mobility were signed between the two nations during the visit. Cyprus became the 111th country to be a signatory of the Framework Agreement and the 92nd full-member country to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA).
The business community of Cyprus was addressed by Minister Jaishankar, who apprised them of the trade and investment opportunities that India has to offer. He also interacted with the Indian diaspora, thanking them for their contribution to strengthening bilateral ties.
In Austria, Dr. S. Jaishankar attended the iconic Austrian New Year’s concert at the official invitation of Alexander Schallenberg, who is the Federal Minister for European and International Affairs of Austria. It was the EAM’s first visit to Austria as External Affairs Minister, and India’s first visit in 27 years.
EAM met Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen and Speaker of the Austrian Parliament Wolfgang Sobotka during the visit. The EAM summoned Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, who met with FM Schallenberg.
According to the MEA statement, the discussion covered a wide range of bilateral collaboration, regional, and international issues.The two nations further signed and initiated several agreements, including those in the areas of migration and mobility, which is considered the first such agreement made by Austria with any country with whom they have signed a visa regime and the second with a non-OECD country.
At the same time, Jaishankar also called on the President of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev, who was also in Vienna. EAM also held a joint meeting with the Foreign Ministers of Austria, Alexander Schallenberg, the Czech Republic, Jan Lipavský, and Slovakia, Rastislav Kacer in the Slavkov format for the first time.
India-EU relations, respective neighborhoods, and the Ukraine conflict were discussed by the four foreign ministers. A separate bilateral meeting was held by Dr. S. Jaishankar with the Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic, Jan Lipavský. Jaishankar further met the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi, and discussed enhancing the IAEA’s collaboration with India in various areas, including combating climate change, medical care, and other nuclear applications for societal benefit.
The External Affairs Ministers also met with the Indian community in Austria on New Year’s Day, where a cultural programme showcasing India’s rich diversity was presented.