Thursday, 19 April, 2018

Business on mind, PM Modi embarks on five-day tri-nation European trip

Smriti Irani who had come to attend the BJP’s day-long fast was mum on her comments on the Unnao and Kathua rape cases Smriti Irani who had come to attend the BJP’s day-long fast was mum on her comments on the Unnao and Kathua rape cases
Melinda Barton | 16 April, 2018, 15:27

In his departure statement prior to his visit, Mr Modi said, he is visiting Sweden and the United Kingdom for bilateral meetings and for the India-Nordic Summit and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting during 17th to 20th of this month.

After reaching Stockholm on the evening of 16 April, Modi will first hold a bilateral summit with his Swedish counterpart Stefan Lofven the next day, following which a number of agreements are expected to be signed. During Modi's visit, it is also expected to launch an Innovation Association India-Sweden.

With an aim to improve bilateral cooperation in several areas, including trade and investment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to embark on a five-day visit to European nations Sweden, the United Kingdom and Germany.

Following his meeting with Theresa May, the prime minister will head to the Science Museum in London to visit the "5000 Years of Science and Innovation" exhibition and interact with Indian-origin and other scientists and innovators based in the UK.

While returning from Britain on April 20, he will stop over in Germany where he will a meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "It reflects the importance the UK attaches to the visit and shows the mature level of India-UK ties", said an official involved with the preparations for the visit. He said that he has come to launch the Ayushman Bharat Yojana's first phase and the Lok Suraj campaign.

"The Commonwealth is a unique multilateral grouping that not only provides useful assistance to its developing country members, particularly the small states and small-island developing states, but also has a strong worldwide voice for development issues", PM Modi said. Saluting security forces during the speech that lasted for over an hour, Modi said a memorial has been built in Bijapur to honour the personnel who died in Naxal violence.

A rally in support of Modi is also due to take place outside the diaspora event venue on Wednesday. India and Sweden share warm and friendly ties.

In his address, the President said that the greatest contribution of the Constitution of India, created under Ambedkar's guidance, was to make all Indians equal citizens, irrespective of social or economic background. The Prime Minister was referring to the gangrape of 17-year-old Unnao girl by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar and gangrape rape and murder case of eight-year-old Asifa Bano in J&K's Kathua by eight men in a Hindu temple.