India, Belarus to elevate bilateral partnership

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New Delhi, Sep 12 (IANS) With India and Belarus celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties this year, both countries on Tuesday agreed to further elevate their partnership.

“We reviewed the architecture of India-Belarus partnership and exchanged ideas to expand it,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a joint address to the media with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko following delegation-level talks here.

“We exchanged views on bilateral, regional and global issues,” Modi said.

He said that both sides considered new areas of cooperation and agreed to elevate the partnership.

He said the two countries will encourage joint development and manufacturing in the defence sector under the Make in India programme.

On his part, Lukashenko said that he was interested in India’s growth so that the world can become more multi-polar.

Stating that the two countries signed an investment protection agreement on Tuesday, he said that Belarus was interested in participating in key Indian development initiatives like Smart Cities and Skill India.

“We will also cooperate in international and regional levels,” Lukashenko said.

Following the talks, the two countries signed 10 agreements, including in the areas of oil and gas, vocational education, cooperation in agriculture, scientific and technical cooperation, and sports.

Earlier in the day, Lukashenko was accorded a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan here.

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also called on the visiting dignitary.

Lukashenko arrived here on Monday on a two-day visit to India. This is his third official visit after 1997 and 2007.

–IANS

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