New Delhi, Aug 3: Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu has decried attempts to spread misinformation and internationalise the re-structuring of Jammu and Kashmir which was purely an administrative matter and within the purview of the Indian government.
Mr Naidu held wide ranging talks with Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid and Prime Minister Jüri Ratas who pledged to support India’s claim for permanent membership of the United Nation’s Security Council (UNSC) and to intensify the global efforts to fight against terrorism.
The Vice-President and both the dignitaries, have agreed to expand bilateral relations in all spheres, particularly economic, cultural and Information Technology. The Vice-President urged all members of the UN to demonstrate a collective political will for early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism which was proposed by India in 1996.
Mr Naidu who led a high-level delegation to the Baltic Countries of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, concluded the visit by expanding India’s outreach in the region and deepening the bilateral relations with all the three nations, which have agreed to support India’s claim for a permanent seat in the United Nations’ Security Council.
The Vice President arrived in Delhi early on Thursday after completing a series of official engagements in Estonia on the last leg of his tour.
During his visit, Mr Naidu held wide-ranging talks with the heads of all three nations and addressed business forums and Indian diaspora. The three Baltic nations assured the Vice-President that they would work closely with India in various multilateral fora and pledged to fight against terrorism.
Mr Naidu kick-started his tour in Lithuania. He met with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania on the first leg of his tour. He briefed the President, on the recent decision of the Indian Government to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution that conferred Special Status upon Jammu and Kashmir. The Vice-President thanked the Government of Lithuania for condemning the Pulwama terrorist attack.
Addressing the Indian community at Lithuanian Vilnius on the second day, he said the bilateral trade between the two countries was below potential and added that Lithuania could be an important technology partner for India, especially in areas such as lasers, renewable energy, agro-food processing and life sciences. On the third day of his tri-nation Baltic tour, the Vice President met with Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, the Speaker of the Seimas (Parliament) of the Republic of Lithuania, Mr Viktoras Pranckietis and addressed the India-Lithuania business forum before emplaning for Riga, Latvia where he addressed the Indian community in the evening.
During his interaction with Mr Skvernelis, the Vice President stressed the need for enlarging and democratizing the UN Security Council. He sought Lithuania’s support for India’s claim for permanent membership of the Security Council pointing out that India represented one-sixth of the global population. Earlier, addressing India-Lithuania Business Forum the Vice President urged Lithuanian businessmen to tap the immense opportunities in India, which has a rising middle class market comparable to the European Union.
Later, addressing the Indian community in Latvia's capital Riga, the Vice President said that Latvia and India enjoy friendly and cordial relations which have been growing steadily in diverse spheres since the establishment of our diplomatic relations in 1991. 'India is committed to strengthening its relations with Latvia in all spheres, including business and investment, cultural and academic cooperation and people to people-to-people connect', he added.
The Vice President said that India was proud of the contributions made by its 30 million-strong Diaspora all over the world. 'You have been helpful in bringing foreign investments, technology, expertise and goodwill to India,' he added. UNI